Tuesday Poem February 12th 2012

Tuesday Poem

Mother’s Hats

lived on the top shelf

flirty bits of felt

and the feathered ones

that huddled cooing gently

wings clipped


remembering how it was

on the backs of birds flying

plucked out at times

to soar above the crowds

(pity she was only five foot tall)


or with the heavenly hymns in church

but chastened by the thrust of pins

and finding no escape

from that nest of hair



heaving sighs heard only by the coats

hanging smug waiting for winter

when they would be held close

to her warm body

and feel the touch of  hands in their pockets


or flap in the south wind

the nearest they ever came to flying

and in the end it was the straw boater

with nary a feather on top


that perched unpinned

caught the sea breeze and flew

higher and higher


(c) Helen McKinlay

This poem was first published in Before the Sirocco (NZ Poetry Society, 2008)  In my young days women wore hats everywhere. My mother had a very skittish collection. This is in memory of her enjoyment of those hats in which she always looked beautiful.

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8 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem February 12th 2012”

  1. Welcome to Tuesday Poem, Helen! Loved the line ‘heaving sighs heard only by the coats’. Looking forward to reading more of your poetry over the coming weeks.

  2. Lovely poem Mum. It reminds me of your gorgeous red trunk that was always such a delight for B and me to sift through. That trunk was so stacked up with gems and pretty jewellery and stunning dresses, it was like a real case of treasure.

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