Boxer shorts

(or jackpot for the patriarchal privates)


At arm’s length often with phantom peg

on my nose, I’ve handled my husband’s

boxer shorts  a million times.


God knows. Off  the floor. Into hamper.

Out of the washing machine

To keep them sweet-smelling and clean.


I have hung out with the aforementioned garment

In the wee small hours of a moonlit night,

In the rushed early morning of stark daylight.


I become one with the shorts

hang myself on the washline to dry

almost an affair to remember


the three of us

man, wife, and boxer shorts

washing machine is witness


These threadbare, shrunken boxers

that offer little scrotal-sac support

on those low-hang days.


As if hubbie is too old

to free-ball, go commando,

brave an uplifting chill in birthday suit 


As I now fold and bury shorts

At the bottom of his undie pile

So I feel I’m a little like his  boxer shorts


Appreciated on the inside

Not for the world to see

Minder of crown jewellery


Signs of wear and age apparent,

But still treasured, a sort of keepsake,

Easily replaced but not.


Just as if I were to donate the boxers to charity

Or demote them to a cleaning rag,

The normally sensible fellow, I imagine

might miss me too if I went awol,

and weren’t in his drawers.





I presented him with our expensive entourage of walking, talking lookalikes.


Many moons ago, for his birthday, they presented him with the boxer shorts.


Now offspring too , wish they’d presented him with at least a  dozen pairs.


Because, as the children have grown up, Dad has grown out.


And on at least one occasion, this has been glaringly obvious, except to Grandma who is a little short-sighted.


I’m still trying to forget the one time, the man was sitting on the sofa. I could clearly see the boxers had shrunk too, and BOO.


A cushion was quickly thrown at him interrupting his viewing of State of Origin football on telly.




© Kathryn Yuen


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Hi Kathryn, I enjoyed these pieces. You've got a fresh and amusing take on life which doesn't lose the serious issues underneath (so to speak). Keep writing. Sorry this response is a little late as I don't check in as often as I should. - John Upton


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