My poem, December 2016, for the “Me, In a Hat” series on Silver Birch Press!
The First Time I Read My Poems in a Hat
by Carol A. Stephen
at an open mic, I’m too terrified
to be myself, to stand in front, to speak
my own words to all those faces, other poets,
the ones who read their poems with aplomb.
I think of The Hat. It’s a beautiful hat:
swirled brown Swakara fur, pure white ostrich feather.
A frivolous hat, a dramatic hat,
an important kind of hat.
When I place it on my head, I become The Poet,
take on a new persona sporting a splendid plume.
I might be a musketeer, a courtier, grande dame,
I might be anyone but me.
No one sees the paper shake, nor hears
the tremor in my voice. What they see
isn’t really me. They see The Poet,
and it’s all about the poem, all about that hat.
AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: I bought the hat…
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