My Father’s Dinner Jacket – Simon Williams

My Father’s Dinner Jacket

Each year, just once, I measure up to him,
see how I fit his DJ – black serge,
thin, silk lapels, proper pockets. This year
it’s not so bad, I’m only slightly plumper
than the girth of him, don’t raise my arm
too far in slipping on the jacket.

When I’m back at midnight,
the trousers humid from rocking to
the Stones, beating to Quo,
I know he’d never rise to perspiration,
from a Lehár waltz, a ragtime foxtrot, though
perhaps he’d raise the odd bead from a polka.

He wouldn’t like the music, never did,
but he’d appreciate the ball, would like me
living up the night, welcoming December
by polishing my shoes, straightening
my purple bow-tie, taking to the dance
like a tailor takes to tails.

Simon Williams ( has eight published collections, his latest being a co-authored pamphlet with Susan Taylor, The Weather House (, which has also toured in performance. Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013, founded the large-format magazine, The Broadsheet and is currently developing a one-man, science-based poetry show, Cosmic Latte.

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