The red hat

04 Mar

An old man beneath dripping trees at dusk,

Good overcoat, a stick, and a red hat

A red fedora

Bright as a petal

Fallen on the wet pavement


And Alan comes unbidden to my mind

The master of the pelargonium

His flowers glowing

Crimson through rippled glass of winter porch

His pale presence coming slow to the door

(A red fedora would not be his style)

Hobbled by painful hips and knees and back

His hand measuring the wall for support

His lambent eyes

His tender touch.


I think about the

Wisdom in those still nimble mottled hands

Taking cuttings every year, potting on

Nursing delicate, luminous blossoms

His gift to the future,

A legacy.


The red hat

makes me smile as I drive by

and Alan’s light and gentle love endure.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Exercises, poetry


Tags: ,

One response to “The red hat

  1. nickybennison

    March 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    It’s not often that I get around to doing the homework I set for the group, but this poem arose from an exercise we did a year or two ago. The task was all to do with keeping your eyes open for inspiration: I asked everyone to think of something they had seen recently that had caught their attention for some reason, and write about it. And then I saw this bloke walking down the road wearing a dashing red hat… which reminded me of pelargoniums… which reminded me of my lovely father-in-law, Alan.


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