The Cap Acrylic on Canvas 48 x 38 in 2000

The Cap
Acrylic on Canvas
48 x 38 in

I keep searching in vain
for your hat.
You know,
the one you were wearing
on that cold spring night
when the sky was dark
and blue and
the stars were shining
through the billowing
smoke clouds.
You know,
the hat that you wore
the one with the
large visor bend upwards
so that I could see your eyes
among all the other eyes.
The heavy wool cap
that mother,
that your mother gave you
just before she left that morning
looking for potatoes or bread,
the last time you saw her
wrapped in her brown winter coat.
The brown wool cap
that was too large for both of us.
The one that kept your head warm
through the cold winter
of the war.
The one you were wearing when
the distant bombing
and machine-gun crackling
were pressing the guards to kill still more.
I see you still behind the red drapes
of my eyelids when I close them
to the Sun or when
in the darkness of my room
I let my thoughts go free
thousands of miles and nights
away from you.
I thought I had it last in my hand
amidst all that death and mud,
but, perhaps I was wrong.

Saul Balagura    June 25, 2000