Retirement Attire

When I retired,
I thought I could wear
whatever I chose.
Makeup and coordinated outfits be damned
with their matching shoes
and glittery accessories.

I was free to be quirky:
hair all akimbo; striped orange shirt
paired with purple print pants;
one blue sock, one white;
and the rattiest of old sweaters.
What did I care?

Then I remembered
the day I was home alone
hair in desperate need of washing,
body free of all clothing
when a strange car
drove up our lonely lane.

Rushing to close
and lock the door
to unwanted visitors,
I slipped.
I broke my arm.
As it dangled by my side,

my other arm
holding shattered pieces together,
I was unable to dress myself.
You can see why,
in that state,
no way was I dialing 9-1-1.

Too, I recalled a line
from a Calvin Trillin book.
His wife, he said,
always dressed to the nines.
One should look one’s best
for the doctor or lawyer

or anyone else the day might bring—
assured better treatment, she thought,
better service. Besides,
it made folks feel better.
I thought perhaps she was
on to something

I tossed the worst of my duds;
cleaned up my act.
These days
I try to match, at least.
Who knows what
might lie around the bend?

So, in the end,
it really is
like our mothers used to say:
“Always put on clean underwear;
you never know
when you might be in an accident.”

4 thoughts on “Retirement Attire

  1. Can relate to this poem in so many ways.. you know how I loved “coordinating” when we were work colleagues. These days.. I may go 2-3 days with just brushing my teeth and combing my hair and the rattiest clothes I have. Nice that you can sort of laugh about the fall now… but sure at the time.. it wasn’t !

    Liked by 1 person

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