Archives for posts with tag: hats

Following My Grandmother
by Jennifer Finstrom

“We’ve found another hat,” my aunts tell me. And they send it in a box full of my grandmother’s books and scarves and bits of jewelry.

I’ve written about my grandmother before—her career as a library director, her memory loss, her life as a divorced mother of three—and my apartment houses stacks of her books, other hats, mountains of bright scarves, a metal tray piled high with clip-on earrings like a glittering assembly of beetles. When I take the hat out of the box, I imagine her removing it for the last time, not knowing that I would be the next to wear it. It’s possibly not a hat I would have noticed in the window of a boutique, brown with a white brim that can be worn up or down, but it’s both stylish and practical.

I feel a different connection with my grandmother since my own divorce: she is more to me now, a woman walking alone by choice, always a bit ahead of me in her good coats and well made shoes—but if I’m wearing her hat, I might just be able to catch up.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me wearing the hat in the poem.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I love hats (and all accessories), and the fact that I have—and wear—so many different accessories that belonged to my grandmother make me always feel close to her independent spirit. Of all of the things that I have of hers, though, hats seem the most special.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me with my grandmother during one of her visits in the early 1980s. This was taken at my childhood home in West Allis, Wisconsin. My grandmother lived in Marquette, Michigan, and I saw her a couple of times of year when my family went there or when she came to visit us.


Jennifer Finstrom
 teaches in the First-Year Writing Program, tutors in writing, and facilitates writing groups at DePaul University. She has been the poetry editor of Eclectica Magazine since 2005, and recent publications include Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Escape Into Life, NEAT, and Gingerbread House Literary Magazine. For Silver Birch Press, she has work appearing in The Great Gatsby Anthology, the Alice in Wonderland Anthology, IdesA Collection of Poetry Chapbooks, as well as the Nancy Drew Anthology. 

There Was a Red Hat
by Esther Cohen

I am
buy them
while ago
in Flushing
for a foot massage
walked through
perfect Chinese
shopping mall
pressed duck
healing teas
there was a red hat
unlike any
of the many
I already have
a red hat I could
wear forever

PHOTO:  The author reading poems at the Ace Hotel in the Red Hat.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I love this particular Red Hat and have written many Thank You Hat poems to and for it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Esther Cohen posts a poem a day on A few of them sing. She teaches Good Stories, writes books (Breakfast with Allen Ginsberg, her new book of poems) and she is a life-long cultural activist.

The Top of Mr. Cohen’s Head
by Donna Hilbert

I wear the hat,
get dressed everyday.

The devil laughs if you say
there’s no temptation.

Never thought myself
a singer.
On those matters, don’t linger.

I’m sent like a postcard
place to place.

The universe is a doorway,
hard to enter.

Songs move,
there is a place to live in rhythm.

I love the moment when I close
the hotel room door.

I have worked for 1,000 years,
been wearing a fedora

for a long, long time.

SOURCE: “Hallelujah! Leonard Cohen Meets Uncut,” interview with Leonard Cohen by Brian D. Johnson, Uncut (December 2008, Take 139).

PHOTO: Leonard Cohen by Lorca Cohen, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I consider Leonard Cohen the premier songwriter/poet/mythmaker of my lifetime. He finds the mystery in the mud of human life.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Donna Hilbert’s latest book is The Congress of Luminous Bodies, from Aortic Books. The Green Season, World Parade Books, a collection of poems, stories and essays, is now available in an expanded second edition. Hilbert appears in and her poetry is the text of the documentary Grief Becomes Me: A Love Story, a Christine Fugate film. Earlier books include Mansions and Deep Red, from Event Horizon, Transforming Matter and Traveler in Paradise from PEARL Editions and the short story collection Women Who Make Money and the Men Who Love Them from Staple First Editions and published in England. Poems in Italian can be found in Bloc notes 59 and in French in La page blanche, in both cases, translated by Mariacristina Natalia Bertoli. New work is in recent or forthcoming issues of 5AM, Nerve Cowboy, PEARL, RC Muse, Serving House Journal, Poets & Artists and California Quarterly. She is a frequent contributor to the online journal Your Daily Poem. Her work is widely anthologized, most recently in The Widows’ Handbook, Kent State University Press. Learn more at