American Life in Poetry: Column 469

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.


We do not accept unsolicited submissions. 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 © 2018 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.