An Old Rain Hat
by Casey Derengowski

The weather was blustery, the night air was cold
a steady downpour drenched all about
when out of the mist came a simple plea
“Sir, could you spare a quarter for me?”

His request was so simple, his words sincere
a paltry coin to quench a need
some broth for his stomach with warmth for the soul
a cup of hot coffee, some soup in a bowl.

His name was Gary, his clothing quite worn
his shoddy shirt drank the rain like a sponge.
What turn of events, what cosmic force
brought us to this place, both on this course

Rain fell on his head wetting his hair
it ran down his neck and on to his back.
I shivered to see its chilling effect;
I had little choice, I could not reject.

Why must he bear the brunt of the storm
while I am spared a common fate?
I gave him my hat, so wrinkled with years
to rescue his face from these heavenly tears.

That weathered hat he placed on his head
as if it were a priceless chapeau.
He made some protest but my insistence was strong
Had I not done this it would have been wrong.

PHOTO: The author in his rain hat.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My wife and I, along with three of our grandchildren, were entering a restaurant on a rainy day when a homeless man approached asking for some assistance.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Casey Derengowski has been writing for numerous years, professionally as a teacher, later as a probation officer, and personally as a self-imposed hobby. Although his writing began as narrative it has since evolved into the genre of poetry, both free verse and rhyming. He has been published in Summation, Chicago Poetry Press, and Silver Birch Press as well as various other anthologies.