After my father died, my mother
and my sisters picked the shirt, the tie;
he had just the one suit.
I left them to it, I didn’t
want to choose, I loved him
all those years. They took a shirt
from the closet, I don’t remember
which one, I’m sure he had worn it
to church and hung it up again.
They held a tie against the cloth
of the shirt. They decided, finally.
It’s like that. Things come down
to the pale blue or the white,
or some other. Someone buttoned it
over him, those buttons he had unbuttoned.
Poem copyright ©2016 by Marjorie Saiser, “Final Shirt,” from RATTLE, (Vol. 54, Winter, 2016).