Maggie Sawkins – The World’s Coat

The World’s Coat
‘In the struggle between yourself and the world, hold the world’s coat’ – Kafka

The world’s coat
has a zillion buttons made of stone,

has pockets
deeper than the Pacific Ocean.

With its collar pulled up
it reaches beyond the death of stars.

Its fabric can cope with hurricane and hail,
sandstorm and snow;

it can embrace your sorrow and your fear
of no tomorrow.

The world’s coat is lined with silk from all the silk worms
that ever existed;

its length is long but it never touches the ground.
There’s no reason to shun it.

It is waiting patient as the sky for you to sink
into the black holes of its arms.

The world’s coat
may seem an ill fit, but just turn up

its cuffs, it will grow into you,
or you into it.

Maggie Sawkins is the winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry

4 thoughts on “Maggie Sawkins – The World’s Coat

  1. I love the way Sawkins turns her couplets: eventually we wear the coat of her poem all the time conscious of Kafka’s insight: we are holding the coat of our nemesis by wearing it. The paradox is of a piece with the unusual grace of the couplets.

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