Dry Cleaning

 

                                                            For Louie

 

The clothes go round and round

                                                 ethereal fairies flying

through the air

                         in their plastic sheaths but harnessed

by the curved head of the coat hanger

                                                            that super-ego of the clothes

anchoring the free-

                               flowing id.  She desires

a brief affair, a freeing

                                   from restraints, to leave

behind, for a short time

                                 husband, children, routine--

but not for long; she realizes

                                          she needs them.  The movement suddenly

stops, several hangers are

                                         removed, placed on the staid

and static hook next

                                to the cash register to be taken

home.  Hot, she walks

                                  down the street, arms

full of limp clothes,

                             their covers clinging uncomfortably

to her skin as she hugs them to her,

                                                          hangers upside down

loose and impotent.  She recognizes

                                                            the very restraint

allows the clothes to dance.

Published in Poet Lore