Opening my wardrobe, I found awaiting
A furious face with its two circular eyes,
Where there ought to have been four,
Relating the tragic history of its partial demise.
With nothing but its crescent shape
It painted, so picturesque,a scene of hurt
Of how the Dhobi in his infinite wisdom
Beat the rock with the weapon of my shirt,
Either to punish me for my tight fist
Of which he never fails to complain,
Or to vent out his sorry disposition on
Having ventured into the angry domain
Of his hardened wife who suffers his moods,
Only occasionally daring to remonstrate
For the sake of the children who go unfed:
A result of their father’s drunken trait.
Whatever ailed my washerman aside,
I had for myself troubles of my own.
Having never heeded my mother’s advice,
I did not know how a button was sewn.
Innocent I was of this arcane craft,
Of replacing crescent with full moon,
And hence to ameliorate the status quo,
I decided to acquire the skill by noon.
Fishing out from my multi-purpose kit,
A needle and a length of coloured thread,
I applied myself to the labouring task,
Each passing moment augmenting my dread.
It was not before long that I could pass
The string through that miniature eye
Of the needle with my trembling hands,
Each time evading the orifice and passing by.
Broken Button’s patience had run its course,
From its earthly confines it wanted severance .
So, to expedite his journey to the other world,
I cut the old string to herald his deliverance.
It found its peace in the dusty corner,
Where I sent it flying to its open grave.
To the one that adorned my shirt so long
Such was the dismal farewell I gave.
I dropped my instruments before I could
Somehow cause the situation to worsen,
Overwhelmed by the sorrow of separation
From such a loyal guard of my person.
I declared that no Button shall replace
It that closed my clothing against dirt.
I proceeded hence, in silent remembrance
To pick from my closet another shirt.
Originally published on Quora on January 27, 2013