Poem: Thoughts on a Hat as my Grandfather Nears Death

thoughts on a hat as as my grandfather nears death

by haley fox

this is a beret

it was given to me

when I was very young

by my grandmother

although

now

I cannot remember which

my grandmother

(mother’s mother)

has a knack for

the finer things in life

for generosity

(towards all people, overflowing)

and for angels

she is large

in all the ways a person can be large

at five feet tall

and lost one of her children

much too early

she sings loudly, and often

gracious and flippant

offered me my first drink

(a margarita)

with arms open

she knows what’s best for you

or

at least

she tries

(you love her for it)

the beret could easily be hers

you learned french for

the tone of your mother’s voice

(throwing money in the air)

(the good life)

(the best life)

however

the beret was not

passed down to me

from my mother

it was given to me

directly–

an addition to an overflowing

costume box

you don’t know

why

you still have it

it does not fit you well

my grandmother

(father’s mother)

has a knack for

getting by

for collecting trinkets

(shaped like her last name)

and for birds

she is full

in all the ways a person can be full

at five feet tall

and lost one of her children

earlier still

she is a keeper of traditions

a very specific feeling

that floats within the glasses of sun tea

my father makes

on good days

and in the intention of

building something

to last

the beret could easily be hers

it is modest and

made of thick wool

(putting love in everything)

(the best life)

(the good life)

but it was never

given to my father

or any of her children

who would have needed it more

than a ten year old

too old to play

pretend

now

it hangs

on the wall of my

bedroom

this could have belonged

to either of my grandmothers

but now

it belongs

to me

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