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The Shirts Out the Door

First she found the pants on the floor, then the wife dared look in the closet...

The wife surveyed the closet and let out a sigh.
With a roll of her eyes, she said, “Why, my dear, why?”
How many knit shirts could one man possibly need?
Ten? Twenty? More, perchance...but eighty-four? Indeed!

Perhaps she’d miscounted, or made some such error.
Eighty-four to one, shirts shouldn’t outnumber wearer!
An absurd state of affairs, it just could not last —
His copious wardrobe would leave the thrifty aghast.

The tally, verified while not rushed or distracted,
Demanded drastic measures be swiftly enacted.
First step: no more shirts for the man with too many.
By laying down the law she’d save a pretty penny.

What came to mind next was an easy progression.
Purging the excess would become her obsession.
A plan was formed quickly, a surreptitious quest:
At least two dozen shirts she resolved to divest.

But this was a matter previously discussed,
And the man’s stance hadn’t changed, she was given to trust.
“I might wear them for painting or some other chore.”
Wouldn’t sixty suffice? He couldn’t need more!

She soon set about her skulduggerous mission.
Poof! Shirts would vanish, the trick of a magician.
Transported away, a few at a time,
Not a soul was wise to her textile crime.

It didn’t take long for the number to be pared.
The wife smiled; she’d managed it, without being snared.
Over time, memory faded of what she had done.
’Til, years later — “I can’t find a favorite red one.”

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © 2010-2020 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved / This material may not be reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed without prior permission. Please visit to obtain permission.

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