Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

The Woman Who Could Not Wear a Hat

The Woman Who Could Not Wear a Hat

By Chris Forhan

Aunt Beryl who could not wear a hat
declined to come to Easter dinner.
Aunt Beryl come hatless come hatless we'd say
arrive with your blue curls drenched in the rain
arrive amid hushed admiration of your pink suit.
Think of the raging magnolia in bloom
unbounded by hats. Aunt Beryl the honeysuckle!
Think of the bareheaded song of the meadowlark
dawn spreading hatless over the broad Atlantic.
Think of the white peaks high in the moonlight.
Consider the damp tufted head of the infant
proclaiming its entrance into our glad world.
Think of the shirtless, the noble poor.
Think of the evening's dull expanse
and us, think of your miserable
nieces and nephews, fatted on goose
nursing our flat punch, stuck
telling Aunt Beryl stories
the woman who could not wear a hat.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 66, No. 3 (Fall 1992), p. 39


Chris Forhan

Chris Forhan is the author of three books of poetry:  Black Leapt In, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize; The Actual Moon, The Actual Stars, winner of the Morse Poetry Prize and a Washington State Book Award; and Forgive Us Our Happiness, winner of the Bakeless Prize.  He is also the author of three chapbooks, and his poems have appeared in numerous magazines, as well as in The Best American Poetry.  He has won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes.  He lives with his wife, the poet Alessandra Lynch, and their two sons, Milo and Oliver, in Indianapolis, where he teaches at Butler University.

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