Marty Smith


Dad wouldn't be seen dead
without a hat.
Farm hat, summer hat, town hat
even when he had hair.

Hat on an angle, hat on horse,
hat in the truck with dogs.

We fished by stealth
stalked trout
with a spear and a light.
He wore his hat in the dark.

A mile apart by metal road
my grandmother lived
on her half of the farm.
No chance meetings, not even
a skyline sighting.

She lay in wait in town
from the haberdashery
as he walked up the street.
She came out as if by accident.
Hand frail, and clasping
the front of her coat,
she gave a coy look
from the bags of her bloodhound eyes—
the whole air stopped

he raised his hat, went past.

Author’s Note


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