Ties

by Joel Moskowitz


Why do I treasure them,
since I rarely wear one? In my profession,
a neat clean look is dressy enough.
Why do they comfort me?
Is it because of the men who wore them before,
some known by me, some not?

For only 8 dollars in Boston,
I bought the vintage Versace,
blue and gold curlicues,
elegant and bold at the same time.

I chose some of my father’s ties
when he no longer needed them.
My favorite is a paisley, Italian,
which he wore to my graduation,
and somehow still connects us.

My wife, when her father died, found some of his
wide ties draped over a door.
He would listen to his patients for hours,
spoke little at home,
but once interpreted my dream, for free.
We see him now in a picture, wearing
the blue diamonds on a gray fabric sky,
which happens to match my sport coat.

Why can I not resist, in thrift shops,
those thin diagonal stripes, so sober
and dashing, and sometimes wrinkled?
But is it better to leave such smart bargains
for someone who can’t afford new ties?

I admit ties are mere accessories, ritualistic.
But in my closet, on their rack, my ties pour,
overlapping one another like a crazy Niagara Falls––
as I wait for an occasion, an invitation.
Meanwhile, why do I love my tie-clasps?

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One thought on “Ties

  1. I love this poem. It makes me think of my Dad, another tie man. He did have occasion for his ties, and regarded them like a sommelier looks at a vintage wine up against the light, swirling around in the glass. He even wanted to start his own line of ties. He wanted to call it “Albertini di Milano.”

    So now I have to go and write a poem about that. Thanks!

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