by Annmarie Lockhart

The hat makes a statement heard
differently by everyone who sees it
and thinks they know something
about she who wears it.

Reactions run the gamut from
“I love your hat” to “ha ha, nice hat”
to “I can’t stand that f’ing hat.”
Strangers take liberties, registering
opinions, mostly flattering, sometimes
hostile; familiars take liberties too,
but tend to skew to the opposite ratio.

Why does a hat garner more reaction
than her eyes, hair, cleavage? How
can a hat attract more attention than
her rounds and curves, her easy giggle,
her hand-hold smile, her quick-bared claws?

She fingers the hat, ponders its nature.
It is all personality, but it is still
as skin
and fragile
as her beating heart.

Annmarie Lockhart is the founding editor of vox poetica, on online literary salon dedicated to bringing poetry into the everyday, and the founder of unbound CONTENT, an independent press for a boundless age. A lifelong resident of Bergen County NJ, she lives, writes, and works 2 miles east of the hospital where she was born.