God knew as I
before I came to this world
my hats would run out
The dirty Easter bonnet
The Black Beret’ with Sass
The lovers timid veil
Designer Ribbons flare
A Mother’s backward cap
A Wife’s honorary Trident
A widow’s brimmed ache
so liquid now it melts
around my hair and eyes
and down into my soul
and there I am like Jonah in the whale
folded in half
with prayers so thin they are
whispered until I am
the string between two tin cans
rusted with regret I cannot find

What now does the Mother
of a dying son’s hat look like?
Oh, Mother Mary hold my hand
you know this part

all of the imperfect in me is naked and I am left
with nothing but a leaky love
that drips through my final hat in hand
onto the dusty floor
and scatters with such missing
that I am afraid
I may not gather enough love to
fill another cup of life.

Lynn Bukowski
© September 11, 2011