Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

POM: April 3

Confession: I was a closet poker as a child.

*Whew* I’m glad that one is out of the way. Yes, I see that nod. You, too? What is it that fascinates the child to stand before a parent’s closet and sift through their belongings? I enjoyed parading around in my mom’s high heels, arraying myself in her scarves, her jewelry, and balancing a purse in the crook of my arm. Hats were in style back in my childhood. Well, maybe in the childhood before my childhood. I’ve always admired the fashions of the forties. A well-dressed adult always wore a hat. I missed those days of unspoken dress code by a decade or two. Hats once had meaning. Now they hide bad hair days. Never mind. I do enjoy what Mark Irwin shares about his own closet discoveries.

My Father’s Hats

     Sunday mornings I would reach
high into his dark closet while standing
     on a chair and tiptoeing reach
higher, touching, sometimes fumbling
     the soft crowns and imagine
I was in a forest, wind hymning
     through pines, where the musky scent
of rain clinging to damp earth was
     his scent I loved, lingering on
bands, leather, and on the inner silk
     crowns where I would smell his
hair and almost think I was being
     held, or climbing a tree, touching
the yellow fruit, leaves whose scent
     was that of clove in the godsome
air, as now, thinking of his fabulous
     sleep, I stand on this canyon floor
and watch light slowly close
     on water I can't be sure is there.

—Mark Irwin

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2 thoughts on “POM: April 3

  1. The term “closet poker” threw me. I thought you poked closets.

    You were a snoop, pure and simple. I was, too. All writers are snoops, I think.

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