BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
The love between parents can be wonderful and mysterious to their children. Robert Hedin, a Minnesota poet and the director of The Anderson Center at Tower View in Red Wing, does a fine job of capturing some of that wonder in this short poem.
My Mother’s Hats
She kept them high on the top shelf,
In boxes big as drums—
Bright, crescent-shaped boats
With little fishnets dangling down—
And wore them with her best dress
To teas, coffee parties, department stores.
What a lovely catch, my father used to say,
Watching her sail off into the afternoon waters.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by Robert Hedin from his most recent book of poems, The Light Under the Door, Red Dragonfly Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Hedin and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration.