Panache

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I sense it in a crowd…
one person set apart…
a certain flair…an arrogance
like once…at a party
I met a laughing woman
who’d pinned fresh fruit
all ’round the crown
of her floppy hat…
red cherries…tokay grapes.
Occasionally she’d pick one
to pop into her mouth…
or toss to others.
I commented. “Unusual.”
“Of course my dear
I’ve worn these every April 10th
for years…well, decades…
to celebrate my lost virginity
doesn’t everyone at some time or another…”

I think of variations on her theme,
…and people who wear hats.
I should wear a hat…a straw one…
…often…in the summer…
one with wide blue ribbons
brimming down the back.
Yet there’s that difference
between panache and being odd..
and being odd… and not caring…
not caring…that’s the catch.

Bonnie Marshall

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