Uncle Norman and His Magical Hats

Other uncles chopped wood
or chewed on tobacco, but you were the one
who made red satin roses with green velvet leaves,
chapeaux for a duchess or queen.
Those sleek, baubled matrons came
taffeta-tufted. In black suits and limos

they threaded their way
down the path for a turban.
Crowned peacocks, they followed
your quivering thimble
from Hereford to Copley—
to the shops of Fanette or Darée.

They would call in the sunlight or moonlight
or dawn—when veils were just lifting—
for adjustments of soft felts and furs:
“Take the tails of my coat”
“Turn this mink into clôche”
“The bows for the bridesmaids need combs.”

You carried their colors: the heathers, the mauves,
the plums in your pocket and eye
to match gowns and heels
that would make their appearance
on dark Schubert evenings—
whether modeled at weddings or wakes.

Jean Tupper has worked as a magazine writer and editor, but her first love is poetry. She presents poetry both solo and with the Fine Line Poets of Massachusetts. She also reads and workshops with the Wood Thrush Poets, six published poets who have been colleagues and friends for 25 years. Her collection of poems entitled Woman in Rainlight was published by Hobblebush Books in 2004. Her poems have appeared in Oregon East, Wisconsin Review, Southern Poetry Review, Worcester Review, The Madison Review, The Paterson Literary Review,Piedmont Literary Review, Eclipse, Thema, Plainsongs, and many other literary magazines.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761