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The man whose paunch is not disguised
wears his belt to hold up his pants
but also as a sling to keep his belly
from slipping unimpeded to his knees.

Some add an aid, suspenders, though their
aesthetic worth is doubtful, serving
more to emphasize the need to raise
pant legs from sagging at his heels.

Years ago the portly look defined
a man of substance, proud display
of prominence, his waddling gait
a proof he had no need to hurry.

Was a time when modesty persuaded
men to wear double breasted blazers,
even corsets, in Africa and Asia
caftans and jubbahs hit it all.

Nowadays, doctors, health-wish wives
prescribe no-fat diets, much less food,
especially for couch-potatoes, exercise,
fitting into a 36 waist at eighty eight.

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