Featured Poem 2/1/08


in honor of Fabu, Madison's new Poet Laureate

This woman, Fabu, wears a red hat,
a big hat, wide as the shoulders
she carries her world on.

It’s her mother’s going-to-church hat
an aisle-walking, pew-sitting, prayer-making
head cover that spells respect.

It’s a standup hat that’s like a piano
chord that makes everyone
sing out, and sing praises, a-men.

This woman in her red hat knows
all about rivers, where and when to cross.
She’s immersed in other people’s lives.

When she gives her words, they rise
and settle over folks, like dust,
those specks from our creation, the stars.

Her red-lipped smile tells that preacher
he better know the gospel, speak it right,
like the righteous knocking at oak doors.

Don’t know where she keeps her hat
but it’s got to be a special place
like the one her mother takes in her memory.

—Richard Roe

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