by Nina Lewis

When it all fell through
I went shopping.
The clothes store had a sale on
and I found this hat,
stared too long at the reflection
of my head wearing it,
mirroring thoughts
from another place.

Like a morning alarm
the repetitive store music
brought me back
to the cold tiled shop floor.

I checked the price tag,
decided it didn’t matter, this hat
was mine.

The sun was out by the time
I walked back to the car,
I pulled off the price tag
and wore it.

Every summer this is my hat.
Worn on holiday, in the garden,
out for a walk,
you never ask me
where it came from.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Hats disguise, conceal, and protect. I love this one and have worn it for years. It is beginning to fade. The photo was taken at Hanbury Church, after a long walk in summer sun up steep hills. I was red-faced so we shot in black and white. (Photo by Reg Nicholds, July 2016.)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have lots of hats, but only one I tend to wear. I took it on a recent photo shoot, so I knew I could supply a photo of it. When it came to writing, I remembered where it was bought and spent some time with memories I had archived. There is, as always poetic truth included in transaction. All good poetry has some depth. I tend to free write and then go back to clip and edit my poetry; this one flowed fairly naturally and has just been quietly moulded.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nina Lewis is widely published in poetry journals and anthologies, including Abridged, Fat Damsel Take Ten, Hark, Here Comes Everyone (HCE), I am Not a Silent Poet, New Ulster Poetry, Nutshells and Nuggets, and Under the Radar. Nina was a runner-up in a Poet Laureate competition 2015/2016 and often performs at spoken word events and literary festivals. She was commissioned to write and perform poetry on “urban nature” at the Birmingham (U.K.) Literature Festival in 2014. Nina’s work also formed part of the poetry trail for Wenlock Poetry Festival, been found in the vaults of the Municipal Bank as part of an International Dance Festival, and 21 Haiku were used for an Art Installation at the MAC. Her debut pamphlet Fragile Houses, was published by V. Press in 2016. She hosts INKSPILL, an annual writing retreat at