The Old Fedora
by Dustin Pickering

My friend wears his grandfather’s old fedora
on occasion,
and his grandfather left a legacy for him:
shoes to be filled with pen and ink,
the writer’s life.

He hands me the hat,
sad look and lips pursed slightly,
and gives a quizzical look.
Am I supposed to know what he wants?
Does he want me to wear it?

I take it from his shaking hand
and put it on my head.
He smiles and politely nods.
Then he says, “I knew you would get it.
My grandfather had his head for writers
of your style.
He lectured me on occasion
about the silver moon
and where inspiration comes from.
The moon, he told me,
is a harsh mistress.
He would admire you.
You are always inspired. Some Muse
blew tragedy into your veins.”

I smiled, and then politely nodded.

IMAGE; Fedora, available from bernardhats.com.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dustin Pickering is founder of Transcendent Zero Press, a Houston, Texas, based literary publisher. The company’s journal Harbinger Asylum was nominated in 2013 for a National Poetry Award as best magazine. He is published in a variety of online and print publications. He was a featured poet for Public Poetry in 2013 and a Special Guest Poet for Austin International Poetry Festival that same year.