The Hole in the Hat

So many years gone now
since my first love. You see
how I still use the word “love.”
There was a before and after
in that romance, and now…
such a long after. It’s like
finding the President’s hat
by the side of the dusty road
with a bullet hole in it.


Ever after, he rode with a guard.
I’m not saying there’s a hole
in my heart. I’m saying the hat
was discarded or put in a museum.
I’m saying the hole is evidence
of a problem in the assassin.
In my heart, I was just riding along
on my horse to the Soldiers’ Home
for a breezier summer night.
Windows open, plenty of trees.
Nightphone with Shooting Stars

Surrounded by photos in frames,
small notebooks, a hat with a veil
handmade by someone else,
a piano I seldom play,
and so many sudden obituaries.



Kathleen Kirk is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life. The title poem of her chapbook The Towns (Unicorn Press) appeared in the museum of americana.  Her work also appears in a variety of other print and online journals, including Poetry East, Greensboro Review, Snakeskin, and Redheaded Stepchild.