Marvin Lurie

Self Portrait In Wool, Velvet and Buttons

Few tangibles survive:
a black and white photo of serious-looking people
wearing age and elegant clothes.
You can’t tell
my grandmother had been a great beauty,
my grandfather was gentle and caring.
You can't tell
the stylish, wool coat my three-year-old self is wearing,
with its double breasted rows of buttons and velvet collar,
was hand cut and sewn by him,
not from his lean and severe features, not from my bland stare.

I have the picture and the coat
waiting in a closet
for me to become like my grandfather,
an image in a picture
looking at the future,
for another generation to be told
my grandfather made a coat for me
by hand,
my grandmother was beautiful.

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