The Coat of Ceremony

Photo: Tim Koch.

5 June 2018

From London Bridge to Albert Bridge,
the bargemen row
in the Doggett’s Race, to celebrate
George the First acceding to the throne.
There is a coat and badge at stake,
an orange coat, and a badge
of silver, to wear upon the sleeve.
Why orange?  I am uncertain.

Has it to do with being Protestant?
If so, were the winning rower
Catholic, it would make for
delightful irony.  Emblems speak
most profoundly.  I think
of the roses, red, and white,
red, for valor, white, for purity.
Pure valor sets high the bar,
a bar too high for me to reach.
But, orange?
A coat cut from a bolt of sunlight.
And let silver suggest
the light of the moon,
such coat and badge appropriate wear,
regardless the hour.

Philip Kuepper
(7 May 2018)

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