Trying on Hats
by Esther Rohm

What we need is a proper tea party,
she says. Feather toques,

candle shades, crystal bowls of white flowers
to take some time off from our roles as young wives

playing house with our ill-fitting husbands.
She says we’ve arrived at the wrong spot in time,

Victorian times would suit better.
I float through her measurements,

learn antique etiquette,
go by the name she says suits me the best,

look backwards to meet with her camera’s approval,
play dress-up in an ill-fitting hat.

PHOTO: The author dressed for a tea party (Medway, Ohio 1998).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Young adulthood doesn’t know it’s a close cousin to childhood. This call for submissions reminded me of when I dressed up for a tea party with my friend, and what I notice from this distance is how young we were and how little we yet knew about ourselves.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Esther Rohm is fascinated by human beings. She writes poetry, fiction, and fantasy while undercover as an office worker. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she was kidnapped by mischievous sprites and deposited in Ohio, where she continues to live. Her work has appeared in Silver Birch Press, Dime Show Review, and A Journey of Words (Scout Media, 2016). Follow her at or read her and her husband’s joint blog at