Blue Jeans
by Kenneth Wanamaker

    They might as well be
    relics from the Middle Ages,
    Shrouds of Turin paraded through the Vatican,
    or Fremont Street.
     
    Torn
    faded
    and fraz-
    zled
    in the knee
    you can barely read the
    words on the right rear pocket:
           Levi Strauss
           Original, Riveted, Quality Clothing.
     
    riveted to a winding trail in the Smokies,
    the mule ride through Canyon layers
    of Toroweap and Coconino,
    the spill you took in the muddy Colorado.
     
    You even wore them to church one day.
     
    Like your teddy bear, your first slinky,
         those faded love letters,
    you won't let go that shredded pair,
         patched in the fanny,
    but hold on 'til the last thread
    cased in copper
    worn from the neck,
    a Saint Christopher's medal
    seeing you safely through the next pair,
    and the next.






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