The Shirt

It’s a plaid Pendleton wool shirt that used to belong to my dad. If I wear it long enough to get it warmed up, I can smell my dad’s sweat. I don’t do that very often, just when I really miss him and know his smell will make me feel closer to him. I have other things of his – his pocket knife, a carved duck – but they don’t carry a scent like that shirt. It takes me back to . . .

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “the shirt.”

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Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

4 thoughts on “The Shirt”

  1. He walked into the kitchen in his boxer shorts; hair disheveled. She was wearing his French-cuffed white shirt in front of the stove making pancakes—hair in a bun and barefooted. The table was set and sprigs of holly, which she’d obviously cut from the patio, were in a small vase and placed on the breakfast table as a centerpiece. Right then and there, he thought, she’s going to be the future mother of my children…

  2. She always remembered those special nights when she was a toddler and allowed to spend an overnight with her grandmother and Uncle Al. Because she lived in a cold water flat without the luxury of a shower stall or bathtub the occasion was made exceptionally wonderful because her grandmother knew how much she loved bubble baths in the big old clawfoot bathtub. She would fill it up with sweetly scented bubble bath. As the hot water poured luxuriously from the spout, the steam would rise up into the air smelling of roses. After her bath, grandmother dried her off with a huge soft white towel and put one of her Uncle Al’s soft white T-shirts on her. The shirt hem dropped down almost to the floor because she was so tiny. Then she would clamber up into grandmother’s high bed under the white fluffy feather-filled comforter against the plump feather-filled pillows piled high. She would contentedly snuggle up to grandmother in her pretty silky nightgown surrounded by clean scented bed linen and wearing Uncle Al’s shirt. Finally, grandmother read her favorite childhood fairy tale, “Bambi,” while she drifted off to sleep.

  3. It was his favorite, especially for parties. How many pictures do I have of him wearing this shirt at family reunions, birthday parties, even Christmas and Thanksgiving gatherings? Soft green ferny pattern, short sleeves and so soft that it feels like a baby’s favorite blankie. And when he was gone, it was the shirt that all of his daughters wanted, and the one thing his wife would not part with. I suppose it is still in her closet, hanging as a quiet daily reminder of the man she loved, the one gone too soon, the one she cannot get past to see other men. This man was the love of her life, and his shirt wraps around her memories like a loving hug.

  4. That shirt is a high neck , full-sleeved t- shirt he bought at a flea market. It is trifle faded , to begin with . But it is warm and loose and comfortable . He wears it when he had work to do , in and around the house . Fixing taps , lights , mowing the lawn . He was a hands-on person. Hoisting kids onto his able shoulders , helping his wife in the kitchen , he is everything his father has taught him to be , and much more . He would make lists on his holidays , of insurances to be renewed, car to be serviced , paperwork to be done , and put his heart and soul into it .

    That shirt is still lying in the wardrobe , waiting for his next leave , when he comes back home , and plunges into being the big , devoted , family man he essentially is . That his work takes him away from home , rankles him and his dear ones . But when he is around , he gives himself totally . He is a giving person , like no other .

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