Hat Poem

One evening at Joanna’s in New Mexico —
Mr. Red, a hairy red cat slept on her lap
as she asked about my hat.
So — I looked back across time and told her
about those cold harsh rains in the Mendocino redwoods
just above the dwarf trees in the Pygmy Forest.
Bought a flat brim Stetson at a hardware store.
Found they warmed up your days and gave you a place
to keep your keys and smokes at night …
Years have passed
and I’ve gone through six or seven by now.
All of them fine tools, some given to family —
others to friends.
This last one is worn and weathered
like it’s almost done.
Guess I might be too.
Bought it in south Austin, Texas —
off of Congress Avenue on my way
into Stuart Sullivan’s Wire Recording —
where a band called the Potwashers
played a background piece called ‘Panorama’.
Stuart and I had asked for liquid — but we got fluid instead.

All of us are wrapped and warped by passing time.
You could say — from the dwarf trees of many kinds —
through the motorcycle years — we’ve written a panorama —
and the worn and weathered hats — have seen it all …