Keep Your Hat On
There was a time when going out
was an occasion to be dressed for.
You could not be seen,
should not be seen
without your hat.
You would be ostracised,
Hats were mandatory,
a smart felt trilby or bowler for the men
and a fashion statement of flounces or formality
for the women.
my visiting aunties kept their hats on
while drinking their afternoon tea indoors.
They left them on in cafes and bars,
it’s the generational norm
from the time when one knew
the dress code and conformed.
But not everyone did so
even back then.
Some were daring,
daring enough to go without a hat
and they still found company.
Others followed the code
and kept their hat on
but still sat on their own
the code didn’t admit everyone,
some were left outside.