Lavender, scarlet, emerald or sky mottled blue!
Or (if you must purchase white) mother of pearl.
I’m tired of pea office green and deadly plain suits
I don’t wear and am belittled for not
by insinuating, superior, Misses, Mrs.s, ms.s, madams, misters, and sirs
who snoot and practically sniff (unless they’re assessing sallow or black).
No underwear, please, which nobody needs and nobody sees.
And no pale, plain tinted nooses to choke me up with.
No more colorless, wonderless gifts for gift’s sake
that hang somber on me or on hangers in closets, or wrinkle on shelves, smelling of mothballs and moldery mosses.
No more of these dun hued shirts with stockings to match;
no more dull polyester slacks not to romp but to pall in;
And certainly, no more unmemorable, unreal, same-plain-as-before,
funereally dusk colored, buttoned-to-the-choke three piecers
designed for malaise and reading obits
on a charred man’s ferry to uncertain
in the dark.
Unlimber, straight laces!
Unbutton, unbutton, undo every one.
And tie one on me that glows in the dark.
That shines brighter, bright shiner, than sunshine and glory.
In short, If you’re giving:
present me mint britches and grenadine shirts
to wear quick and wear loving before I wear out.
Pu-lEEEEeaSe read aloud.
“Birthday, Christmas and Father’s Day Gifts: Some Advice” first and last appeared in Dazed Part of Light, a collection of poems by Lee Robison. This poem was written at a time when I was haunted by the nine-to-five grind. It is a message to loved ones who gifted me to accommodate the expected of that drudge.