Mon Béret, Circa 1984
by Juleigh Howard-Hobson

It was real wool, made in France, I found it
Thrifting somewhere in California
Where nobody really wore hats. It fit
Everything I thought a hat should be: a
Dark brooding beret that evoked beatniks,
Gitane cigarettes, espresso, poetry
And art. I thought it was so cool. I’d pick
Out clothes that went with it, so I could be
As cool all over as my beret was
Just by itself. I lent it to my best
Friend one Halloween, then only because
She begged me unrelentingly. I guessed
(Wrongly, it turned out) it would be okay….
But she lost it. I miss it to this day.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This photograph was taken on a freezing cold day in California, probably in September 1984, during my poetically serious black beatnik phase. It is, tragically, the last photo of my beret and me. I think, looking at my expression, I somehow knew…alas!


Juleigh Howard-Hobson
’s poetry has appeared in The Lyric, Trinacria, VerseWisconsin, The Alabama Literary Review, Caduceus, The Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch Press), Poem, Revised: 54 Poems, Re-visions, Discussions (Marion Street Press), and many other places.  Her work has been nominated for both “The Best of the Net” and The Pushcart Prize. She lives in the Evergreen Empire of the Pacific Northwest, next to a deep dark forest that is as broodingly cool in its own way as that beret was.