Hat Etiquette



(“the terrorists are negotiating with grocery store hostages out of their respect for human life…” CNN)

by Maurie Nord

Hat etiquette

is there anyone alive

who remembers it?

or have they all

taken the dive beneath

cold soil

in marble orchards

now powerless to decide on

matters that are obviously right?

is anyone able to touch a brim

to pinch a crown

to politely brush it

or sometimes to respectfully remove it?

is there anyone willing to wear it on a wise head

over a heart brave enough to sail, fly or

to march into the night

upon some bloody beachhead and fight

for what is clearly the Truth

brave enough to capitalize the Word

and to even die for the right to do so?

I think there are many

but they sadly lack those

with a set big enough to back them

is there anyone unafraid to write a poem

pretentious enough to rhyme?

or to make any kind of sense at all?

one that leaves those sadly bereaved

of sanity to be pinned and wriggling on a wall

where some women still come and go

talking of Michaelangelo?

is there anyone left to understand

a sweat band?

perhaps we have only a bewildered band

grandsons of great grandfathers

who paid a great toll

the greatest generation

(we forgive their martinis

their digust for Mary Jane

long hair

and their refusal to seriously

touch their brims

except with wry grins

when they first heard the music

called “rock and roll”

EP CB and later some

bands that had only four)

for them a band was big

Benny Goodman or Lawrence Welk

but more than a-one-and-a-two

they were a band of brothers

or else, to them a band

meant a fancy

ribbon on a felt fedora

and before that a leather strap

they cinched around

a cowboy hat


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