The Raincoat

I recently discovered American poet Ada Limón thanks to this beautiful poem. As a child, we never think about what exactly makes our childhood so happy. It’s only as an adult that we start to reflect on what our parents have done for us throughout the years. Driving us around, making our favourite dinner or taking us to the toy store. What seemed everyday then is now a treasured memory. If you could use a pick-me-up today, just think of such a childhood memory. And then maybe give your mum or dad a call.


When the doctor suggested surgery
and a brace for all my youngest years,
my parents scrambled to take me
to massage therapy, deep tissue work,
osteopathy, and soon my crooked spine
unspooled a bit, I could breathe again,
and move more in a body unclouded
by pain. My mom would tell me to sing
songs to her the whole forty-five minute
drive to Middle Two Rock Road and forty-
five minutes back from physical therapy.
She’d say, even my voice sounded unfettered
by my spine afterward. So I sang and sang,
because I thought she liked it. I never
asked her what she gave up to drive me,
or how her day was before this chore. Today,
at her age, I was driving myself home from yet
another spine appointment, singing along
to some maudlin but solid song on the radio,
and I saw a mom take her raincoat off
and give it to her young daughter when
a storm took over the afternoon. My god,
I thought, my whole life I’ve been under her
raincoat thinking it was somehow a marvel
that I never got wet.

Ada Limón


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