The Mourning Coat

Puleng Segalo


Keleabetswe wandered aimlessly around the shop, deep in thought. Looking at the baby clothes, she imagined the possibilities life could offer a child. She wondered which colours a little girl would prefer. Then she saw it – the cutest little black fur coat. She walked towards it as if pulled by a magnet. She took and caressed it, feeling its softness against her face. Her eyes filled with sadness and hope at the same time; she smiled as she held it up. She wondered whether the coat would shield the girl from the harshness of life, whether it would remind her of the gentleness, warmth and love that had cushioned her for nine months. In that moment, a sharp pain shot through Keleabetswe’s veins, pumping sorrow through her whole body. She clutched the coat against her face and its smoothness calmed her. A tear dropped from her face, landing on the shiny coat and, as she touched it, it disappeared into the thickness of the fur.

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