Return of the Woolly Mammoth

You rarely wore it,
though you yourself chose the color, midnight blue,
and knee-length cut. In derision you named it 
“the woolly mammoth,” pointing to its Pleistocene proportions.
Still at each sign of snow, I nagged you to wear it. 

The last time I saw you
you confessed you’d have to give it away.
“Not one more winter,” you swore.
Yet when you chose it once more,
were you thinking of me?

Last of its species, the mammoth was hunted 
to extinction.
In a different Ice Age, it took you down
under the cold waters
of the dam, and sure enough, kept you down,
sodden, for a month,
until you surfaced, found.

I like to think of you buttoned up,
and until the last
breaths, beats, 
its boxy bulk somehow
kept you unaware,
insulated from creeping cold discovery.

Copyright © 2017 by Sharon Kennedy-Nolle. This poem appeared in Streetlight Magazine, Issue 23 (Fall, 2017). Used with permission of the author.