“My Father's Hats” by Mark Irwin
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
My Father's Hats
Sunday mornings I would reach high into his dark closet while standing on a chair and tiptoeing reach higher, touching, sometimes fumbling the soft crowns and imagine I was in a forest, wind hymning through pines, where the musky scent of rain clinging to damp earth was his scent I loved, lingering on bands, leather, and on the inner silk crowns where I would smell his hair and almost think I was being held, or climbing a tree, touching the yellow fruit, leaves whose scent was that of clove in the godsome air, as now, thinking of his fabulous sleep, I stand on this canyon floor and watch light slowly close on water I can't be sure is there.
from New Letters, Volume 66, Number 3, 2000
Copyright 2000 by The Curators of the University of Missouri.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Cleveland State University Press from New Letters. Copyright 2000 by The Curators of the University of Missouri. For further permissions information, contact The Curators of the University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO.
About the Poet
Mark Irwin is the author of six poetry collections, including American Urn: Selected Poems (Ashland Poetry Press, 2015).
Learn more about Mark Irwin at The Poetry Foundation.