Monday, July 3, 2017

Cool Hat

I know, I should throw it away ... at the very least, not wear it in public.

But I can't bear to give it up. It's my hat. We've been together so long, through so many things. It's like a part of me. And there it sits, "like a cabbage leaf on my head."

The poem began, as many poems do, while I was out walking, this time with Phyllis.

Actually, we encountered two young girls, strolling in the opposite direction. Strangers, but I probably smiled and spoke to them.

One of them smiled and said something in reply, but I didn't catch what it was.

After we had walked far enough that I thought we were out of earshot of the two, I asked Phyllis: "What did she say?"

"Cool hat," she replied.

"Cool hat?"

"That's right. Cool hat," she assured me.

That's when I had the impulse to toss my hat in the air and do a few dance steps right there. Who says I'm not in touch with the younger generation?

Today's poem, part of a manuscript in search of a publisher:


It has been
lost and found,
rumpled, crumpled,
laundered until
it cries for mercy,
and it sits like
a cabbage leaf
on my head.

But then she,
a young girl about
half my height,
flashes a smile,
says, "Cool hat!"
and for a moment,
just a heartbeat,
a quickened stride,
I feel like
tossing my hat
in the air
and dancing.
 © 1999

(orignally published in Capper's)

Today's word: heartbeat

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