A White Frigid Fright

by: Bruce Shearer

I have too many white shirts

They are everywhere.

Just waiting for me, all neatly pressed and ready.

First I had one, and one would be controllable

Kept carefully in check.

But could I be content with that?

Oh no, I was overconfident, complacent, cool and collected.

Then I had two, but with shirts things change fast.

They were breeding in the wardrobe, going quietly out of control.

Plotting, planning, and waiting for an opportunity.

For what I cannot say.

I am just a helpless victim of their tyranny.

When the lights go out.

As they must.

They sit there glowing.

All the same, no variety.

But how was I to know?

I wasn’t prepared.

I was deluded by their frosty freshness.

I couldn’t see the dreadful dilemma till it loomed over me.

Left without choice, nowhere to turn, no option but white.

Mauve, pink, puce these are but fleeting dreams in my torment.

I am surrounded by grinning, gloating, ghastly white business shirts.

A white frigid fright to greet me in my sleep encrusted mornings.

When I am desperate to find clothing.

Facing a searing shock of white which is

Spilling out and engulfing me in colourless chaos.


Bruce Shearer is a Melbourne writer of poems, plays and short -stories.