You tell me daddy has lots of hats
but you wonder why I don’t.
Then say, “You’re just mom.”
Dad has his Mr. Fix It hat,
but I have an outfit for that.
My apron, stained with jelly fingerprints,
smells like the dinners vavó made.
Somerville heat in the tiny Victorian kitchen
Spiced sauce cupping tender chops and peppers that melted
in my mouth. Do you smell your childhood, little one?
Dad has his Herringbone Rex for the office,
but I have rose gloves for the garden I tend.
Keep those thorns in place, guide vines a proper course,
allow the vegetables to blossom from buds
like the tulips and violets in my nana’s sunbathed gardens.
Her hands deep in earth, massaging roots from beneath
her straw hat. Do you hear the birds chirp the time?
Dad has his bucket hat for fly-fishing,
but my dress and hair pins ensure I do it up right.
I remember to smile so bright, others are blinded.
My girl the only one on stage, in sight, in flight.
She sat front row, clapped loudest and cried with
laundry-dried hands. Can you feel the cracks?
# # #
Serena M. Agusto-Cox, a Suffolk University graduate, writes more vigorously than she did in her college poetry seminars. Her day job continues to feed the starving artist, and her poems can be read in Beginnings Magazine, LYNX, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Harrow, Poems Niederngasse, Avocet, Pedestal Magazine, and other journals. An essay also appears in H.L. Hix’s Made Priceless, as does a Q&A on book marketing through blogs in Midge Raymond’s Everyday Book Marketing. She also runs the book review blog, Savvy Verse & Wit, and founded Poetic Book Tours to help poets market their books.