The famous black bomber jacket

It’s getting cold enough for heavy jackets especially when I go to the gym early in the morning. And I have the perfect one – Paul’s black bomber. I’ve written about it, I have vivid memories of Paul wearing it, and since he died I’ve worn it many times. But, I’ve never shown it off until now. I’m happy to say it still looks fresh and new – no major holes, no fading. I guess it likes hanging in my office closet, transformed from the closet Paul once used. Hopefully, it will stay in this condition for many years to come.

How about that orange lining?

Black Bomber

Swaddled in this
black bomber jacket all weekend,
I am safe from the Big Sur chill.
It’s too large for me.
And that’s okay. It was Paul’s.
I bought it for him
years ago at American et Cie on La Brea
before he went crazy
and decided to leave us
way before his time.
I like how it snuggles me,
like he’s in there too giving me a hug.
It’s the only piece
of his clothing I have left.
I’ve given away the rest:
his favorite plaid shirts
that smelled of sweat and smoke,
the torn jeans he salvaged
from second-hand stores,
his worn brown Doc Marten oxfords
that took him miles on his manic escapades,
and the tan suede jacket
he had me repair over and over
because he couldn’t let it go.
Like this jacket –
I’ll never let it go.
It has stains I can’t remove
and threads unraveling,
My son is gone.
But, this jacket –
try and take it from me.
Just try.

2002. One of the poems in Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide (Lucky Press LLL, 2011)

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Comments

  1. A beautiful post. I do hope you get many years of hugs from the jacket. x

  2. Thank you Glynis. I definitely intend to. xoxo

  3. *hugs*

  4. xoxoxo, bru.

  5. This poem is so strong, vivid, and real. I thought of the scene in Brokeback Mountain when one man smells his lover’s shirt.

    Brokeback Mother, I salute your love and courage.

  6. Shirley, Thanks so much for coming by and posting such a lovely and encouraging comment. I appreciate you so much.
    Madeline (Brokeback Mother)

  7. This is a wonderful tribute, beautifully written.

    Thank you for sharing it.

  8. Deeply poignant – beautiful piece!

  9. Thanks so much, J.R. I appreciate it especially coming from you.

  10. A jacket, a memory, and a salutation, all rolled into one. Enjoyed reading this.

  11. Thank you Jim.

  12. Oh, Madeline…I have an old, patched and “holy” sweater that belonged to my Grandpa that brings me the same feeling each time I wear it. Beautiful poem, thanks for sharing it with the world!

    Blessings, Linda

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