Dry-clean Only

Let’s see… it’s your soul.
It was delivered to you
at birth as a gift.
What? Why are you so surprised?
The usual birthday gift.

Has your grandmother
ever presented to you…
let us say… mittens?
All grandmothers love to knit
cute motley mittens, I know.

You got your present.
You adore your new mittens
(and your grandmother)
and treat them grandmotherly.
(Oh, what a great word I found!)

You wear them with care.
You scold yourself for foul spots.
You wash and sew up,
any stain and any hole…
Do you remember that day?

You think, Tomorrow!
You say, ‘It’s a seamy side…’
Fading in the wash,
shrinking, getting out of shape…
Small stuff. The mittens! Big deal!

Where are your mittens?
Now it’s a dirty duster.
It doesn’t fit even
for the second-hand strip mall,
not to speak of paradise…

Quite right, paradise!
What? Why are you so surprised?
You forgot, buddy!
I tell you about your soul.
These mittens are just a trope.

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