Poetry Drawer: Fashion: Recognitions by Robert Demaree


Our grandson, starting high school,
Wants to be sure he has the right book bag.
I think back to the salt & pepper sports coat
In which I went off to college,
Random flecks of this and that
Against a background I recall
As a vaguely purplish blue.
I paid to have the pleats
Removed from gray flannel slacks,
That useless belt and buckle
Appended to the back.
(This was 1955,
As you perhaps have guessed.)
When I finally got myself
A proper muted brown
Herringbone jacket,
It was from the wrong store.


At his college
The reunion was commencement day,
Steps in different directions:
The newly degreed and their kin
Exchange congratulations,
With old alums,
A pleasantness instinctive, spontaneous,
Someone’s plan.

At his fraternity,
Rife with the debris of
Last exams, last parties,
They found his class picture,
An off-hand, unsought kindness.
Rows of young men
With dark, severe hair, dated,
Is this you?

At the banquet
He recognized people
Who did not recognize him,
Which had also been the case
In nineteen fifty-nine.

Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders published in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.

You can find more of Robert’s work here on Ink Pantry.

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