Settling of the Jacket

Putting on a Jacket

First one arm

Then the other

Seeking the unseen

And unknown

Silken lining of the sleeve.

The settling of the jacket

Begins.

This process is

A feat of acrobatic dexterity

A miracle of instinct

And experience.

The right sleeve,

Mme. la Manche Droite,1

Received the arm easily

While Mme. la Manche Gauche,2

Her sister, is a bit more

Obstinate

Because she must negotiate

The watch on the left wrist.

Once sleeves are persuaded

To go where they

Don’t want to

Hands newly emerged

From their respective sleeves

Must attend the collar

Which perforce has to stand up

(No doubt in recognition of

The august personage

Donning the jacket)

And so, hands cajole

M. le Collier3 into

A folded repose.

That settled,

The time comes to

Encounter

Collier’s great-aunt,

Mme. Fermeture Éclair 4

(known to her friends

As Zippee from her days

As an acrobat in a small circus).

She is quite sensitive about her

Plastic nature and longs

For the days of her ancestors

When M. le Vicomte d’ Éclair,

Made of metal,

The first of that name,

Served Louis XIV.

Mme. Éclair does her duty

At the behest of a single hand

Singing a song of old Paris

Before the war

As she slides up into place.

And once again

The jacket is settled.

 

Dan Verner

February 24, 2016

1Right sleeve

2 Left sleeve

3 Collar

4 Zipper

 

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