Monday, November 1, 2010

Twelve Women and a Magic Hat

It wasn't a sight
anyone expected to see


They sit on the floor
talking of choice,
of a dance on a high wire
where joy digs itself
into marrow.

The hat
rests on Sarah's knees,
her silent hands
near it's brim.

Tiring of talk
she turns the brim up,
pictures herself lassoing rain
with rope braided
out of rattler skins.

Melita takes a turn.
Angling the hat
over one eye
she walks like a barnyard
rooster in high-heeled boots.

Zaporah draws the hat brim
over her ears,
keeping cold winter away.
She hears wind
squeeze through straw,
hears viola,harp,
piccolo, a melody
to thaw her hands.

Mary places the hat
at a rakish tilt.
Her hands
remember a lover.
She feels touch
under her skin.

Allison and Rachel
share the hat.
Balancing on a ladder
they juggle lemons.
Tart sun's float
between their fingertips
until they embrace,
trees of one root.

Samantha stretches,
holds the hat over her head--
Stiff-limbed she dances
to a rock beat.
With the hat riding her hair
she sways with an unseen
partner hewn out
of her dreams.

Jocelyn, Katherine, Maude
pass the hat from head to head.
Singing with fury
they recite the words of witches.
Trees bend to listen.

Ramona wears the hat
on the back of her head.
She walks to vanishing points
of roads, to the ocean's horizon.
She wears a dress of Queen Anne's Lace.

Lydia is last.
She wraps seashells around the hat,
places it on her black hair--
Laughing, she pours wine
for the others.
It is her turn to wear the hat,
to tell her fantasy.

Linda Watskin ©2010


  1. Magic is the right word for this wonderful poem. Unlike most of my efforts on the prompt sites, yours has all the hallmarks of a mature poem, properly reflected and worked on. I really enjoyed it.

  2. A well crafted poem that tells a beautiful story and leaves me thinking of my own fantasy as I put on the hat!

  3. I love the whole poem, but got especially stuck on the first stanza. Lovely!

  4. So glad that my one line could inspire such an interesting and evocative poem. I too was drawn right in by the first stanza. Excellent poem.

  5. Lovely portraits of a superb dozen.

  6. divine writing.
    have a fun Saturday.

  7. Terrific imagery and use of the line as an inspired epitaph. The first stanza is especially strong with riveting and unusual language.

    "joy digs itself/ into marrow" is fabulous!