The Suit Poem by Ernest Hilbert

The Suit

He arrived in the city and before long it began to snow.
The smell of spices and meats fried in oils
Filled the cold. Tire-grey drifts glutted the streets.
Snow flurried like thick wet motes of ash.

He wanted to write a script, a movie script about life in the city,
But first he would have to live in the city and think
About writing a script there. He went to the Salvation Army
And found an old suit, navy blue with pinstripes,

A little tattered, but a good fit. It held the odor of cigars.
He knew that it was the suit of a man who had died,
Maybe alone, an old man who had lived in the city,
An accountant who wore it day in and out even

When it became too tight, a plumber who wore
It only for weddings and funerals,
A writer who had never had occasion to wear it,
Having never won any awards or even published

A book after decades of effort.
So he put the suit on, and the snow continued for days,
And he walked until he didn’t know the names
Of the streets and night had fallen on him,

Standing alone on a corner
Wearing a dead man’s suit in the snow.

Error Success