He wears hats — dress hats —
fedoras, derbies, Irish wool caps
to keep his head warm in winter,
shaded in summer. To recall
Cary Grant, Sinatra, and Bogart.
To turn heads and invite
delight from strangers.
When they begin to show
wear, he donates them
to the local theater. We bought
tickets without knowing
Fedora scored a leading role,
its portrait on the program cover.
“My hat!” he said, like a proud
That hat, relined in red satin,
loves the lights and applause.
It’s a good thing he gave it away.
We could never afford its upkeep.
From Running Counterclockwise (Aldrich Press, 2014).
Used here with the author’s permission.