Under A Hat

I became him under his hat,

felt his voice rise in my throat

and felt his smile on my face.

We shared part of a life.


And then he went, bent with pain.

At the end, he tried to joke.

He said a man in another bed

came to pray.

Yes, he said, pray if you will.

And the man fell to his knees

and reached for his hand

and asked for healing, except

that it was beyond God.


What with the cancer

eating his gut, gnawing his will.

He said, before the end

that a man had been shifted

to a room alone.

Well, he said.

You know what that means.

And next day he was in there,

facing south



2 thoughts on “Under A Hat

  1. it is lovely, John, and well written.
    What with the cancer/eating his gut, his will …

    had the potential for being too heavy-handed, but is nicely underplayed

  2. What a lovely piece, John, those first lines speak to me of Mr. Cohen, becoming him under the hat, feeling his voice rise in your own, and that final view, facing south….the ‘joke’ of that other man coming to pray, the move to that final room.

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