The Hat

By William Ogden Haynes

You left

without even packing your clothes.

I kept the closet full of dresses,

high heeled shoes, and scarves,

as long as I could.


Halfway through the yard sale

I saw a woman pawing through a Smirnoff box

containing all of your old hats.

She tried on your favorite one,

the hat you wore

when we fell in love.

You wore that hat

with brim upturned,

cocked to one side,

an echo of your crooked smile.

And now, on this strange woman,

the hat was boring,

meaningless, shapeless.

But then, the magic,

was never in the hat.




William Ogden Haynes is a poet from Alabama and has published poetry in literary journals such as California Quarterly and PIF Magazine. His chapbook entitled Five Thousand Days has been accepted for publication in 2011 by Negative Capability Press in Mobile, AL. He has been invited to read his work at several arts festivals in the state and believes that the mark of a good poem is that, at the end, people feel glad they read or heard it. In a prior life he taught speech-language pathology at Auburn University and authored six major professional textbooks.

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