His Own

audio: His Own
audio of Peter Austin's poem, His Own

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His Own

         —Inspired by a short story by Zsuzsi Gartner

She sewed a brace of buttons on his shirt,
Conquered the smelly sweat stains using Lux
And, while it hung to dry, attacked his tux.

Scrubbing with soap and water cleansed the dirt
(Splotches of clotted ketchup on the vest);
The pants he wouldn’t wear till they’d been pressed.

She trimmed his tache, his sideburns and his hair,
Repeating to herself her mom’s advice:
You want to keep a beefcake, treat him nice,

Then, overcome afresh by how unfair
What she’d agreed to do was, asked again:
“Why wasn’t I invited?” (a refrain

That sickened her but wouldn’t stay unsaid).
“I told you twenty times: it ain’t my call;
It’s me alone or nobody at all;

“Now, help me tie this bow and bag your head.” . . .
She learned—a good deal later and by phone—
The wedding that he’d gone to was his own.