The Poetry of Joseph Zaccardi







The Hat

The street sings with traffic and side-walkers wind along
on the hard slick stone and a man pushes a Safeway cart
he is dirty and pale and skinny and people swish past and
cars rush by no one has the time to stop for the little man
did I mention the little man starts to yell his eyes bulge
his voice cracks there’s something he’s trying to get out
the crowd backs up the traffic speeds by and the little man
rips off his shirt tosses his hat into the street one car brakes
is rear-ended by another car the crowd leans in to watch
his hat land dead center between the broken white lines
on the blacktop and someone spouts the little man’s hat
as a beat cop pushes past gawkers and says move along folks
and directs the motorist to pull over to the curb to discuss
the little man and the little man’s hat once again and again
as if nothing happened a new crowd of walkers assembles
the traffic jam unjams and the shirtless little man mentioned
before picks up a smoldering cigarette butt and takes a drag
he pushes his cart toward the Tenderloin and shouts again
about his hat and a well-heeled gentleman says
no one wants your hat sir
no one wants it.

––from Rattle

< Previous Poem

Next Poem >

Copyright ©2020 Joseph Zaccardi