I’m thinking, as I bag these for Goodwill:
Four sport coats, hardly worn. I never quite
achieved the habitude of wearing them.
As coats they never kept me warm or cool.
They always made me want to shuck them off
as soon as they were on. I couldn’t sit
without some bunching, or some extra flap
that needed constant tending while I talked.
As costumes—I could never do the strut
with quite the right mix of insouciance
and casual, confident authority.
Perhaps my years in other uniforms
had cooked me too far in to act in these.
So, here you go—good luck with them—I hope
the sleeves will let you reach the things you need.
Twenty-some ties. I’m saving my favorites
for—who knows?—statistically, some funerals are
more likely now than weddings, but we’ll see.
The latest science says I could have used
the oxygen their knots had throttled up,
which makes me wonder—but it’s too late now.
Like any other homeless thoroughbreds,
they have the memories of their days of fame—
the compliments they gathered, dancing home.
They all believe they might have one more race,
and want to prove it if you’ll bet on them.
Eleven stalwart shirts. They’re lightly worn
but ready to stand up with dignity,
and should convey the buttoned competence
to nail a clause with some authority
or wrap a deal and walk it through today.
The sleeves are ready to be rolled again.
I list these on the form, but hesitate
to estimate their worth. I wish I could
include the lessons that I learned in them.
Baggy from sitting, squirming marathons,
my trousers feel too worn to be of use.
About the Author: Dan Overgaard was born and raised in Thailand. He attended Westmont College, dropped out, moved to Seattle, became a transit operator, then managed transit technology projects and programs. He’s now retired and catching up on reading. His poems have appeared in Shark Reef, Willawaw Journal, As It Ought To Be Magazine, Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, The High Window, Canary Lit Mag, Shot Glass Journal, Allegro Poetry, Triggerfish Critical Review and other journals. Read more at: danovergaard.com.
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Image Credit: “Men’s fashions, 1896” from The Library of Congress