IF YOU DON’T DRESS PROPERLY YOU’RE GOING TO BE OSTRACIZED
When I brought my jacket
Into the dry cleaners to be sewn,
the Chinese lady who runs the place
said, You should throw it away.
There’s nothing I can do to make it better.
She looked at my jacket, and she talked
like a doctor, or rather, like a funeral director,
and I thought she was going to offer
euthanasia for this thing I felt so close to.
It was like when my dog got old,
and they said the same thing, made the same suggestions.
I took him home,
and when he finally died, two years later,
I buried him in the back yard.
Same story all the time. As soon
as you get close to something
they want to take it away, want you
to conform, like wear a tie,
clean shirts, a continual smile.
Truthfully I prefer to wear old sweats,
particularly when I play tennis, but now,
even my wife goes along with that folderol,
suggests that if I don’t wear more formal clothes,
no one will talk to us. Probably true,
but I took this home too; I mean
my old jacket, and I sewed it myself.
Let’s see if it holds together in the wash.