Not Glamorous But Obviously Compelling

I was sitting in the waiting room – waiting – for a doctor appointment earlier this week. For some reason my attention was caught by the coat closet, or maybe I should say, coat alcove, since it was just a short bar holding some empty coat hangers in an indentation in the wall.

Something about the sight stuck with me. We use coat hangers every day and give them no thought. But they are stand-ins for our own human shapes and take care of our coats, dresses, shirts, you name it. If you didn’t have coat hangers, well, you’d miss them, right?

Anyway, I went home, and I was prompted to write a haiku about the coat closet/hanger scene. Then another. And another. And then I thought of the closet’s cousin, the coat rack, and then there was more to say.

I don’t know why this subject so fascinated me, but it did. Here are the results of that short spell in the waiting room and what I took away with me.

Haiku Group Coat Hangers

A coat-closet-full,
the coat hangers assemble
to wait for winter

The empty coat-rack
passes time in the corner
waiting for winter

The coat hangers wait
spaced along the closet rail
in the hot silence

Coat hangers jangle
pushed along the rail by hands
seeking the dust mop

Wide-spaced coat hangers
refuse to associate
unless they have to

Scarf on the coat rack
arrived in January
still here in July

The abandoned scarf
drapes the coat rack all summer
limp and embarrassed

Spaced along the bar
wire and plastic coat hangers
refuse to mingle

Left here last winter
the wool scarf on the coat-rack
would like to go home

Coatless coat hangers
jangle a hopeful hello
when the hall door slams

Summertime is hard
for an ambitious coat-rack
to get attention

Empty coat hangers
arranged on the closet rail
wait for colder days

All pushed together
jammed into a dark corner
coat hangers huddle

It’s summer? No coats?
Just hang around, coat hangers.
You’ll be busy soon.

"I Look Great I Feel Great" artist trading card, 2011

“I Look Great I Feel Great”
artist trading card, 2011


7 thoughts on “Not Glamorous But Obviously Compelling

  1. I saw this on TV. People use them to hang wet clothes for drying. The crows steal them from the balconies. They are obviously a good material for building nests since they get tangled up so easily. After one crow invented this, the idea obviously spread.

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