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American Life in Poetry

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.

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 the author and the publisher. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.