‘I’m Afraid My Raincoat Was Out Dancing All Night’

The inspiration for this poem is Lianne Mercer, who described with great delight her new red raincoat from Lands’ End.


I’m Afraid My Raincoat Was Out Dancing All Night


(the moon was full).

If it had been a sensible brown or black or gray or even navy, no one

would have noticed. But it was red,

the fire engine red of a children’s storybook.

My red raincoat danced

against the creeping drought,

flapped like flopping raindrops, twirled like swirling thunderstorms.


This has happened before.


I’ve had to retrieve my raincoat from many the scene of a dancing

crime. Our relationship is fraught. I want

it to wait quietly in the closet. It wants

to scare up some precipitation.

Neither approach increases atmospheric moisture.


But today


when I went outside before dawn to get the paper, it was wet

with dew. I left the news dripping in the driveway

put on my red raincoat

and together we danced out the door.