Handkerchief, as words go, is an outlier.
Why not call it a damn rag instead?
Or any other name that is short
and less presumptuous,
conveying no more than what it is.
I think of a drunk, boastful German man
making up such a name:
we call it handkerchief in the motherland.
I see the word only in text:
no one ever utters it.
Each time I read it, it feels foreign,
imposing, doesn’t belong.
It lowers its head
and elbows its way through.