Your straw fedora, picked up on a whim,
looked jaunty on or off, its navy blue
silk ribbon hugging crown above the brim,
whose rake befit a skeptic’s point of view.
It hadn’t cost a lot, was almost free,
in fact, one of those bargains we’d confess
felt satisfying as Algonquin tea
with sandwiches of creams and watercress.
The hat sits on your dresser, catching sun.
I see you put it on again and give
the brim a tug, the crown a tap, the one
that shows, no need for mirrors, where you live.
Lit by the sherbet lights of evening,
that gesture has become part of the thing.
Dan Campion is author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism, coeditor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, and contributor of poetry to
many magazines, including Able Muse, Light,
Measure, The Midwest Quarterly, The North American Review, Poetry, Rolling
Stone, and Shenandoah. A native
of Chicago with degrees from the University of Chicago (AB), the University of
Illinois at Chicago (MA), and the University of Iowa (PhD), he works as a
writer and editor in Iowa City, Iowa.