Blue Shirt

Every Sunday for forty years, my father
would choose the same blue shirt
to wear to church.
The cloth faded and grew thin
and some of the buttons
went missing.
(You’d think he had no money.)
Almost as an afterthought
he’d put on a tattered tie, then walk
two blocks to the Methodist Church.
Easing his bony frame down
onto the unpadded wood pew,
he’d wink and say, “I’m sure the Lord doesn’t care
what I look like, but only that I’ve come—
and here I am.”
Now, six weeks after his funeral,
I hug his empty blue shirt
and long to hear him say once more,
“Here I am.”


Poem © 2018 by Magical Mystical Teacher
NOTE: This poem is almost entirely the product of my imagination. Any resemblances to my own life are purely coincidental.
More Sunday’s Whirligig #151
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Money”

Posted on March 6, 2018, in Midweek Motif, poetry, Poets United, Sunday's Whirligig and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Laura Bloomsbury

    simply very moving and told with such tenderness. Am sure the Lord was always pleased to see him especially now. How he must be missed though – so sorry!

  2. Lisa at Greenbow

    You will certainly miss that old blue shirt but your Dad will always be here in your heart. Big hugs.

  3. Poem tugged at my heart strings and made me
    sad till I read your reassuring disclaimer.

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      I hope that it still tugs at your heart, autobiographical or not. 🙂

      On Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 3:42 AM, Magical Mystical Teacher wrote:


  4. Amen. You move me.

  5. Oh I am glad to note this is a work of fiction. You painted this man so well, I can see him. A wonderful portrait!

  6. Beautiful and moving. You really made us see him outwardly and his inner world.

  7. What a good liar you are. Which is great when it comes to writing fiction whether poetry or prose. As a frequenter of church there are still a few that fit this picture and I am glad as there are those that are unique and scruffy as I can see myself becoming such myself as the years roll on!

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      I knew I had to publish a disclaimer after the first two people who commented offered their condolences!

      On Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 3:13 PM, Magical Mystical Teacher wrote:


  8. I have known people like that, they never spend money on themselves. I’m glad you stated it was fiction I thought it wasn’t.

  9. Till the last few years of his life when his mind played cruel tricks on him my dad loved to put on his suit and blue tie. He and Mom would go to the little country Methodist church where Mom’s name graced the Cradle roll. The wooden pews are the same ones I sat on as a child and now as a senior citizen on some special occasion. The blue tie is in my dresser drawer.

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