My father’s coat has many pockets.
His coats always had: A pocket for each tool
of the engineer’s trade. The tape measure
would have been here, the small notepad here.
This one used to hold a box of matches
– my father never smoked, but a loose screw
will always find purchase with a little help.
And here, he kept the small camera.
Now, all the pockets are empty. Mother put it all away,
gave the notepad to one grandson, the pencil to another.
Some things she threw away, the rest is in a cardboard box,
the matches will light the tree this Christmas.
The coat is almost new, the last of a long series,
bought before he knew that it would outlast him.
“It’s a good coat, expensive,” she says, “it’ll last”,
as we inspect it on its hanger in the laundry.
She looks at me. “I’ll wear it,” I say.
He’d always hated waste.
It fits well enough and
I will fill these pockets in time.