Saturday Poem


The tallboy’s empty now except
for your hats: three battered panamas
trimmed with striped Petersham bands
that squat in the mahogany dark.
One a jaunty fedora, the sort worn by
a Cuban paterfamilias with hairy arms,
sporting a large Havana cigar.
The other more elegant,
with a wide brim and a Mafioso air
that would be at home on a terrace
above the sparkling bay of Naples,
with a plate of frutti di mare
and a carafe of local wine,
or on the bald pate of an oncologist
watching his young mistress
slowly tanning in the sun.
The third, the most battered
with a hole in the crown,
is the one you wore to deadhead
the roses in your rust-coloured
chinos and old cashmere, before
settling with that glass of G&T
as the sun went down.
Now afternoon fades
into evening and the deep wardrobe,
mute with mothballed memories,
radiates its own particular light.
This is the world you’ve left behind
and there is silence everywhere.

by Sue Hubbard
from Punch Magazine
Aug. 31, 2017