Samantha Terrell

A Cautionary Tale

When I arrived at that long winter,
I was coatless,
So I borrowed yours.
Maybe that was my subconscious plan
All along.
I put it on,

Wore it around like
Over-sized trench coat with a few
Stains around the collar.
I even took it in a bit, so it would fit better.

Each day,
I became a tailor, and a dry cleaner, and
A saint.
In time,
I got the stains out –
They were surface ones, but

The size was still a problem.
I’m no seamstress, and I was losing weight
All the time –
What with the sheer workout of
Lugging the thing
Around on my back all day long.

When we were finally both in
The best shape
We could be in,
I knew for sure
It would never fit.
I had tried to make something mine that wasn’t.

Subconsciously again?
I started tugging at some of the new threads,
Making a frayed mess of the thing.
Until, all that was left to do was
Throw it to the wind, and run
For warmth.

About the Author

Samantha L. Terrell is the author of Vision, and Other Things We Hide From (Potter’s Grove Press), Keeping Afloat (JC STUDIO Press), and Simplicity, and Other Things We Overcomplicate. In 2021, she received First Honorable Mention in the Anita McAndrews Poets for Human Rights Awards organized by Poets Without Borders. She lives with her family in upstate New York.