Guest Poet Gillian B Savage

This Coat

The hanger smiles a nonchalent elegance
When this coat lolls crookedly on it.
There's a mystery in the making
When even hangers have style.

A captivating lack of detail
Confounds description, and
Fumbling pointers at collar,
Sleeves, turned-back cuffs,
And four BIG buttons down the front
Miss the essence of promise
In this Shaker plainess.

The relaxed drape of cloth
Quietly offers -- what?
No more than itself,
Still, it points beyond.

Short of the knee, with slash pockets,
Its collar perfect up or down,
Hovering around khaki and olive-brown.
Nuanced with implications
This recessive elegance
Confounds the pen
But delights both eye and skin
Bringing ease.

If you saw, would you apprehend
The source of this bestowed grace?
Perhaps not. But, like me, you'd know
The world was better for its making.

May, 1998

Gillian B Savage's Questions:

Overall, I think that this feels 'lumpy' and lacks strong coherence. There are shifts in tone and focus that could be smoother. How do I do this?

Too many long words? 'confound' and 'apprehend' seem too elaborate, but they carry the meaning I want.

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The Albany Poetry Workshop