Little Hat

More

Forty years in a round box, a nest of tissue paper,
magenta velvet toque, your tasteful feather
a moiré of navy and green, your finely knotted veil
folded and draped just so, little hat, you were more
the idea of hat than hat—actual, functional—
your function to wait in the box for occasion,
your emergence to confirm occasion
for anyone who would notice your lustrous silk-velvet,
your grosgrain hatband with its two gold-toothed combs.
Little hat, how is it possible there was ever such skill,
such time? How, in those years, that century, did you
exact such care? Little hat, satin lining, lingering
scent of lavender, what if there was ever only so much
tenderness in the world, if there is so much tenderness
but no more? What if there is no tenderness to spare,
not one thread, one stitch?

Suzanne Cleary is the author of Keeping Time (2002). Her new collection, Trick Pear, will be published next year.
Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In