by Hal Sirowitz
"When you have blown your nose,
you should not open your handkerchief
and inspect it, as though pearls or rubies
had dropped out of your skull."
The Book of Manners (1958)
After you have blown your nose,
Father said, it's not polite to look inside
your handkerchief to see what it looks like.
You're not a doctor. What's more important
is getting the handkerchief back into your pocket
without staining your pants. There are some things
it's better not to look at. It should be left
to your imagination, but if you have
a strong desire to look you can always
find pictures of it in a medical book.