Les Murray’s Bucket Hat

by Ishion Hutchinson

is a slack
pith helmet, a spaceship
shrunken above

his denizen grin
he flashed me once
in Bremen, his English

the dark gaps of Boethius’
cell, racked with
limpid Low German

on the radio. We were outside
the station, waiting to go up
when a breeze threatened

to lift the hat and I leapt,
not knowing how implacable
it was, as he, turning

an Olmec wink
to me, then ascended
the escalator to his voice.