“The Old Woman with 600 Hats” By Andrea Fekete

The old woman with 600 hats 
sits atop a pile of nameless junk
listening to a robin
singing outside her window.
Spam rots in her refrigerator,
oozes slime from the can,
rat droppings smolder under the buried
furniture and cigarette smoke yellows the
She’s made small paths among the
garbage, stacks of newspapers
she never read, bills she never paid,
so she may stand and
try on her hats.
They are her loves,
to keep in boxes, touch
with white gloves.
Red brimmed hats,
black feathered hats,
purple pillbox hats with netting,
sailor hats, lacy, velvet hats, and
straw hats.
and no fire exit
in this still

Andréa Fekete’s literary novel of the historical coal mine wars, Waters Run Wild, (2018) explores women’s & immigrant life in the coal camps of West Virginia. She has one poetry chapbook, I Held a Morning (2012). Her poetry & fiction appear in many journals & anthologies such as Chiron Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Kentucky Review, The Montucky Review, The Smithville Journal, The Adirondack Review, ABZ, and in anthologies such as Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction & Poetry from West Virginia, among others. She & Lara Lillibridge co-curated Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility (2019) a collection of poetry & essays from 70 award-winning & emerging women writers in 12 nations & every corner of the US. This year, the book took the Silver in Foreword’s Indie Book Award of the Year in Women’s Studies. An excerpt from her newest unpublished novel Native Trees was a finalist in Still: The Journal’s 2019 Fiction contest. You can find more about her work here http://hollergirl.com