Bouquets and blooms,
ornate displays that garnished the hall;
hair thickened with gel, slicked back with a sheen,
eye shadow and rouge in an attempt to enliven his face,
manicured nails and a pinned stripe suit
that likened him to a mobster
in a 1930’s Chicago scene.
Everyone approached and said he looked handsome,
he who only shaved weekly,
occasionally groomed his hair
and bit his fingernails to bleed.
He hardly left home or visited places,
disliked gossip and was scarcely noticed,
barely talked even with something to offer,
who, blanch as the moon was pale,
but much less traveled, wore out the carpet
from his bedroom to the recliner
in front of the television,
the only voice ever acknowledged,
though the background noise
included complaints of his laziness
and a desire for little save for TV Westerns
that induced him to snuggle beneath the blanket
and snore a path to oblivion.
On this day, he held the attention of all,
a posture he would find disquieting,
master of a ceremony, for another,
he would never attend, the day’s most honored
till the shiny, walnut, wooden cover,
creased with white linen, closed.
Michael Keshigian’s ninth poetry book, Dark Edges was released September, 2014 by Flutter Press. He has been widely published in numerous national and international journals and appeared as feature writer in over a dozen publications with 5 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (michaelkeshigian.com)