in a family-run department store in Eastbourne,
having cussedly tried on hat after hat after hat
that hot and jaunty afternoon; then wore it
to change the flowers at my grandma’s grave.
The hat’s among others in the cupboard:
the white-paint-splattered, navy-blue beret
that Dad used to wear while decorating;
and a bobble hat knitted by Mum which kept
his slicked-back, jet-black hair in place
after washing it, an hour until bedtime,
the radio talking, radiators on full blast,
before he inventorially double-locked
the front door, then the back door,
and turned off all the lights.
Matthew Paul was shortlisted for the Poetry School / Pighog Press pamphlet competition 2013 and has had his poems published in a variety of publications, including Magma, Poetry Ireland Review, The Rialto and The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016 (Eyewear Publishing). He is the author of two collections of haiku – The Regulars (2006) and The Lammas Lands (2015) – and co-writer/editor (with John Barlow) of Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku (2008), all published by Snapshot Press. He co-edits Presence haiku journal and has occasionally contributed to the Guardian’s ‘Country Diary’ column.