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The Green Hat

Rosemary Sullivan
From:   The Space A Name Makes. Black Moss Press, 1986. p 9


A punctuation mark, it sits in the middle
of my childhood. It was a telescope—
each green cylinder fitting into the next—
I wore it like a third eye
to keep the world at a distance.
First hat— my own. Others had fallen haphazardly
from my mother's fingers (or the aunts
who dropped their Good Will into our lives
and departed).

My Easter resurrection hat
floating above the new coat repeated
three times like a chorus on the shining
bodies of my sisters in the church.

I'd wanted it to be beautiful
but secretly I hated that hat,
kneeling in the Father's house
suffering a world
never large enough
to love him.

In its afterlife the hat still surfaces
and old habit I unravel
thread to thread,
trying to understand how a green hat
can bring all the weight of childhood
back to my head.


Rosemary Sullivan's works copyright © to the author.


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