They flop from a hanger in the wardrobe
like pelts on a moorland wall.
The blue with red elephants,
the kipper I got married in,
the grey with Chinese characters
I thought spelled Confucius not Coke.
And my Dad’s – plain, floral, dotted, striped –
including the black I wore to his funeral.
Redundant as frockcoats
or monogrammed hankies
they hang there, limp and uncollared,
fat fox tongues lolling in the dark.
Blake Morrison is a poet and author, and a professor of creative writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. His most recent book is the novel “The Executor” (Chatto & Windus)
This article appears in the 17 Mar 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The system cannot hold