Poem of the Week: Going Out In Style

By Carol Barrett

Reckon I’ll be gone in three months.

You never know. I’m trying

a social experiment. The ladies

come to supper all gussied up

well before the appointed hour, 

lined up in their finery like orchids

on a lean branch. But the men,

they come drab as the boondocks

like they just got off their horse

out near Lexington or Castle Rock.

And we all know the farm’s 

long gone, no stallion’s kicked

that field in twenty years.


What I’m fixing to do

is wear my bow tie down to dinner,

different one every night, see

if I can get a gentleman or two 

to follow suit, come to dinner

like they are going out on the town,

like they really mean it. The ladies

deserve some civility. We only have

so long.

image: “Luncheon At The Boating Party”, Pierre-August Renoir

Published by cpoetrymsu

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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