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My Father’s Tie

A classic design:
mid twentieth-century criteria
of quality and durability prevail.

A green wool tie:
a fine weave of such subtle shades
the dyes might be natural,
plant-based, hand-crafted.

A reticent shape:
slim and resisting any broad, bold statement;
perfectly proportioned to blend discreetly
with the two equally classic, understated,
fine wool business suits.

Each Saturday, one suit was
taken to London Street to be pressed,
and the other one collected for the week ahead.

Each Saturday, two shirts and five detachable collars
were dropped off at the
Aughton Road Chinese Laundry and
two clean, white, ironed shirts and
five immaculate, steam-ironed collars
were collected.

In all those years, did he ever dream
of going to work not wearing a tie?

© Helen May Williams 2013

Helen May Williams is a poet and author, living in West Wales. She formerly taught at the University of Warwick and has written extensively on twentieth-century poetry and. She runs the Poetry Society’s Carmarthen-based Stanza group and is an active member of Penfro Poets. Her poetry book, The Princess of Vix, is published by Three Drops Press.