the avenues of cities
are broad rivers flowing with hats.
with thousands of straw hats,
brims and bands,
rows of men smoking
and cheering in shirtsleeves.
They went without saying.
You noticed a man without a hat in a crowd.
who branded your initials in gold
on the inside band.
Steamships sailed in and out of the harbor.
Men with hats gathered on the docks.
and a hatcheck girl to mind it
while you had a drink
or ate a steak with peas and a baked potato.
In your office stood a hat rack.
everyone in the street was wearing a hat
and they were wearing hats
when a ship loaded with men sank in the icy sea.
and returned home
carrying the evening paper,
the winter chill radiating from his overcoat.
into the winter streets,
stand hatless on frozen platforms.
and the spruce trees behind the house
wear cold white hats of snow.
in their thin fur hats
to eat the birdseed that has spilled.
wears a hat of earth,
and on top of that,
Grab your hat and head over to Sepia Saturday for other Sepians interpretation of this week's action-packed prompt.
Would you believe me if I said I forgot to include this Billy Collin's poem?
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.