Poem – Gray Suit Coat

Gray Suit Coat             

It’s remarkable the way, once you’ve started,

almost anything will work: telephone poles,

a pile of wood, a steeple. Farming

implements are lovely, and everything

in the attic, for that matter. Even fabrics,

if displayed correctly, can be effective:

take for example the suit coat

hanging on the chair,

say that the shoulders are square

and the creases sharp, and that the sleeves,

though worn, are spotless. Mention the way

the bow of the hanger lifts the lapels slightly—

all of these details have consequence.

No one will bother about motive

if the beam that you drop rings true

or cuts clean. Move the stepladder around

to the far side of the barn. Only avoid most

adjectives, and the moon.

Now: what about that gray suit coat hanging

on the back of the chair, open at the neck?

-PAINTING, “OUTSIDE THE BARN,” BY GEORGE WINGATE, 5″ x 5″

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