Contributor Series 4: Aspects of the Elephant
Excerpt from the Diary of a Man Growing Old
(December 20, 2009)
By Neil Ellman
Cleaning out my closet
I came upon an old sports coat
The color of Coney Island sand in the rain
That I had purchased more than forty years before
Collars like stretching wings
On the 1960 Chevrolet on which I learned to drive.
How I loved that coat
(and the car as well)
Its shoulders made me seem more athletic
Than I ever was
More stylish than I could ever be.
You can’t discard the one you love
Or give it to Good Will
Where buyers paying pennies
Could never understand the majesty
of woven wool
its history, my own–
And now a bit too large
And slightly frayed,
But so am I.
Said my wife, “It’s me or that old coat!”
And I stood silently
Wondering what to choose.
Neil Ellman’s poetry [The Morning After, An Excerpt from the Diary of a Man Growing Old (October 19, 2009), What Dreams Are Made of] appeared at vox poetica in 2009 and 2010.