Coats of Lamb

Snow doesn’t believe in ends,
the same as the highway.
It pretends to know
where it goes,

vacuums out memory in reverse,
winter from our marrow;
they both burden yellow,
the way a nimbostratus cloud
gives the city a cold.

White reminds me of Mom.
Outside of Austin,
we picked cotton.

Fifteen years never thought I’d
miss those dormant ears
of blue corn.

It was the year her test
came back positive.
She was not pregnant
like the fields. She

would give coats of lamb,
salt as an offering, build an altar
out of bone and her thin, winter
body asking for home and
to warm itself on asphalt.

Would the sign at the end of
the road offer solace?
It was our winter solstice;

we gave it coats of lamb,
salt as an offering, built an altar
to ward away wildlife.

I feared for my mother’s life
as the snow fell, careless,
the breast cancer cell floated
into a lymph node.

I watched the sign
through a fogged window
and wondered which word
would go white;

I gave it coats of lamb,
salt as an offering, built an altar
to ward away wildlife. I’ve never
seen a docile moose,
but I’d like to.

Published by Kaci Skiles Laws

Kaci Skiles Laws is a closet cat-lady and creative writer living in Dallas—Fort Worth. She is an editor at Open Arts Forum, and her writing has been featured in The Letters Page, Bewildering Stories, The American Journal of Poetry, Pif Magazine, The Blue Nib, Necro Magazine, and Ten Million Flies, among others. She won an award for her poem, This is How it Ends, by North Central Texas College's English Department and is currently working on a children's book called The Boogerman. Her published work and blog can be viewed at, and her visual artwork and music can be viewed on YouTube under Kaci and Bryant.

3 thoughts on “Coats of Lamb

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