Saturday 8 November 2014

New Poem: Hat

I went into O’Neill's on the Euston Road and said,

‘Did anyone hand in a hat thing?’

The guy said, ‘May have done, I’ll look.’

He looked under the counter and pulled out a box.

It was full of hats and scarves.I fished around in them.

‘No, none of those.’

‘What colour was it?’ he said.

‘Blue, light blue.’

‘What - a woollen one, was it?’

‘Yes,’ I said.

‘You said it was a ‘hat thing’, do you mean it wasn’t

really a hat?’

I nodded.

‘What? More like a balaclava?’

‘Yes, exactly. That’s right. A balaclava.’

‘Nope. I haven’t seen it. Maybe Danuta has. She was

on last night. When were you in?’

‘About fifty years ago.’


‘I’m just working it out...I must have been around

18 or 19, I was a student. Mostly, my parents left

me to get on with it but...’

‘You’ve come in here to get a hat...that...’

‘...every now and then my mother would look at me

and say, ‘You need a belt’ and she’d get me a belt.

And then one time she said, ‘You need a hat,’ and

she got me this blue hat.’

‘I haven’t seen my mother in years,’ he said.

‘The thing is, I was upstairs. It was a meeting. Some

kind of meeting.’

‘I should call her,’ he said, ‘but hey - I don’t.’

‘We were going to solve everything. Change the


‘And you left your hat.’


We looked in the box. I fished around again.

‘It’s not here,’ I said.