Northwords Now Issue 39

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Annie Morrison’s hat

by Peter Godfrey

My father wore it just before he died –
we rowed out to spot seals off Blakeney Point.
It’s been with me in Pyrenean ice,
on Biscay and where southern oceans join.

You were the best known knitter in the isles
and told me over tea and girdle scones
of girlhood spent barefoot walking in gales
when only candles flickered, lanterns shone.

You wove warm strands of Hebridean wool –
your last years saw our strand of friendship forged.
How often I’ve mislaid it, felt a fool
till someone comes up: ‘Is this blue hat yours?’

and I retrieve that fabric of the few.
I know the benediction comes from you.