In the closet

guns-flowers-vintage-photos-collages-blick-fbI receive in my email box the Poem of the Day from two organizations. That makes two poems a day. I don’t always read them, but the title My Father’s Tie Rack caught my attention. There is something about domestic themes, poems of the details of daily life that appeal to me. So today I will share my own creation from a few months ago, followed by My Father’s Tie Rack, by Joan Larkin, which is delightful, and a lot better than mine, although we are not here to make comparisons. You will see the common theme:


I opened my closet door this morning
And found your two shirts hanging there

Tightly pressed against the right wall
Slumped together on the hanger
Collars drooping and buttons down
Almost hiding, unassuming
Trying to take so little place.

One was brown and reminded me
Subtly of past woes of matrimony
It called back domesticity’s fears
Of laundry, boredom, treachery
A few furrowed brows down its sleeves.

The other was the blue of summer memories,
I brushed off sunlight dust from it
A couple of mosquito bites
Handfuls of smitten smiles in its seams
And piano notes lost in creases.

Together they were joining forces
To mark the new territory
Among the tremendous collection
Of my dresses and pants and skirts
Marking past, present, and future.

And my heart skipped a beat
In spite of all my experience
At this new love in the closet
At this new joy on a hanger.


and now by Joan Larkin:


Back of the door to his dark closet,
eye height, with clever steel
pegs I could flip both ways.
A row of pendulums. Of tongues.
Words, wordless. Witnesses
waiting to be sworn. The town secret.
A silk body, a man’s plenty.
A wild ache, a knot. One painted
with gold mums, one with blood
leaves on mud. Vishnu’s skin, twenty
shades of sky. White flag iris.
Slick sheen of a greenblack snake.
Which one went with him into the hole?
Somewhere else: his belts.

The picture above has nothing to do with either of the poems. I saw it yesterday and it spoke to me as a poem in image. So beautiful, succinct and meaningful at the same time. I tracked the credits to the following site:


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