The Hat

Leathery, always there
As if twisted from his head-skin
It was his second presence
Although it kept its independence

Courtesy dictated
Its removal in a room
But it waited and it lurked
A dislocated part of him
Imbued with its wearer's foibles
But visibly itself

Now what tales could that hat tell
If allowed to speak its mind?

When the wearer smiled
The hat smiled
When the wearer sang
The hat sang
When the wearer raged
So did the hat
It was a fizzing mirror
Of all the wearer's moods

That hat has done its time
Flayed by the changing weather
Its skin its own barometer
Dragged through heat and wet and cold
Forced to do its job
Accepting its role to ensure the head
Was cool or dry or warm

But then things changed
And later on the hat was never seen
Crowded out by illness
And too large to fit
Too stiff to shrink as the head shrank
Its outdoor instincts not required
Within the sterile white-clean walls
Of a four-square hospital room

And did the spirit of the hat
Accept the concept of a death
And breathe farewell through every pore?
Or did it merely sulk
Its loyalty betrayed by silence?

The hat did not get burnt as well
The hat did not get buried too
The rumour is it made its mind up
Made a clear decision
To submit to disintegration
Go spreading out
Moving back in time
Moving back to filaments
A spider's web not made of silk
But spun from the leather from the head
And gradually dispersing
Unravelling like a life's story
Following its leader
Heading out
Strand by strand
Moment by moment
Back to the great outdoors
Following its leader
To a place that some call heaven