Only One Hat Fits
by Brenda Davis Harsham

I try on hats,
in stores by the dozen,
but only one fits
my too-big head.
I wear it hiking
by millponds, up hillsides,
along ridge trails
and into the cloud bank.
The tight weave
keeps my face
from burning red
and the brim hugs without
I walk cracked sidewalks
pushing a stroller
stocked with every wipe
and diaper cream.
My daughter’s curls bounce,
her feet kick and she sings
to herself. And me.
My hat brim gets dark,
then darker.
My daughter grows out
of her stroller,
and we sell it on craigslist.
I feel a pang for its loss.
I explore disc golfing
in a hat, slam into low
branches. Stuffs into
a backpack, so light.
My hat brim stains darken.
I try on hats again.
No other hat fits
my too-big head.
I can’t give up my
favorite hat, despite
its yellowing appearance.
I throw out holey socks and
stained dishtowels. I sell my
daughter’s bike trailer and
her stroller. But nothing
can make me give up
my hat. Nope. Nothing.

PHOTO: The author in her hat atop Mount Killington, Vermont.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I fit into men’s hats, but unfortunately they don’t make ladies’ hats in men’s sizes. I’ll keep trying on hats, until I find one like it. Or I’ll wear my hat until it frays into oblivion.


Brenda Davis Harsham
lives and works in New England. Her poetry and prose have been published in on-line literary websites or journals including Silver Birch Press, The Writing Garden, and The Paperbook Collective. One of her poems won First Place in NY Literary Magazine’s Awake Best Poetry Contest and is forthcoming in NY Literary Magazine’s Awake anthology. Another poem is forthcoming in the Best of Today’s Little Ditty Anthology.