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Poem: A Man with Many Hats

Mark Tulin is an author who lives in California. He has four books of poetry and one short story collection, available on Amazon.

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My Favorite Clothing Accessory

Hats are by far my favorite clothing accessory. It is the garment that is the most connected to my personality.

It all started with my parents. They demanded that I wear hats when I left the house. Even as a baby, I always wore a little white cap to cover the top of my head and little ears. When it snowed, I not only had to wear a beanie but a hoodie. When I played ball with the kids, a baseball cap was necessary. And now, at sixty-five I have never stopped wearing hats when I leave the house.

Poem: A Man with Many Hats

I hang hats on hooks and the racks on walls,

in the back of doors and on my bedposts.

I can’t resist buying a new one at a hattery

or a haberdashery.

I like them with bills, brimmed, hard or soft.

I don one for strolling, thinking, fishing,

or when I’m praying at the Wailing Wall.

I wear a different one each day, for each mood,

one for high winds, low tides,

and another that I save when Jerry Garcia returns.

I wear a visor when I backhand a tennis ball,

a Jeff cap at a record store,

a Fedora gives me finesse

when I sip champagne at a piano bar,

a turban to look exotic or elegant

or a bonnet when I dress in drag.

I’m okay in a bucket hat at a Dodger’s game

or smoking a cigar in a Panama at a linen shop.

People recognize me by my hats

and the cleft it leaves on my forehead,

my ever-changing chapeau when I’m reciting verse,

distinguishing myself

from all the hatless chaps with unmanageable hair.

Wearing hats is not about covering up my bald spot

or protecting my bare pate from the sun—

It’s expressing the many characters I’ve become.



© 2020 Mark Tulin

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