2 poems | Jess Nguyen

Sam and Sam’s Hat

Every morning: 7AM blares on his alarm clock,
Sam and Sam’s hat would wake up together,
Sam and Sam’s hat met at the coat hanger next to the car keys,
With their usual morning greeting, a firm fitting on Sam’s head,
They were out the door

You know Sam,
He was a hardcore Red Sox fan, you know. A New Englander.
There was no way you could mistake (those hardened features and soft blue eyes)
That Sam and Sam’s hat have not seen their fair share of weathered snowstorms, crisp leaves, blazing
summers, and blissful springs

I am getting older now
but Sam and Sam’s hat are getting older faster
My smile now crinkles like the pages of my favorite book
but Sam’s smile crinkles will always be my favorite
His widow’s peak dipping while his crow’s feet crackle across his cheeks
Who knew that Sam and Sam’s hat would chronicle my adventures for acquiring all these crinkles?

Sam and Sam’s hat were worn out by the end of those rounds at the hospital
Sam and Sam’s hat were flabbergasted at the sprinkling of soft tufts of blond hair on the ground
Sam and Sam’s hat were the latest Vogue mannequin for powder blue backless gowns
Sam and Sam’s hat were the harshest critics on every dish of Jell-O
Sam and Sam’s hat held my hand for every grand tour of the St. Anne’s hospital wing
Sam and Sam’s hat entertained me still with all of their perfected amateur magic tricks

In the blink of an eye,
Sam and Sam’s hat which had been with me for 43 years
had gone
all at once

And sometimes,
I still see Sam and Sam’s hat at 7AM
and needless to say
I miss Sam and Sam’s hat

But lately
all I can see now in the corner of my night stand
right up against the wall,
facing me
is just Sam’s hat



The Scotch Mist and I

A bottle of Scotch and
Just me myself and I
The mist rolling in
Greenest pastures I can see
No sign of human life
Just how I like it
Scotch and I get lost together
We overcome the past, present, and future
In the matter of a few gulps
It’s swallowing therapy, cold medicine, and chamomile tea
All at once
My grey ivy cap and hairs match
My khaki trousers patched as patched can be
My sweater sad and sagged
It’s just a matter of time, I know.
I believe very much in freedom
But no one understands
How freedom can teach you so much about yourself
Especially when you just want something simple,
Something no one can give you


Jess Nguyen is a writer in New York who wears red lipstick, prefers Papaya King to Nathan’s Famous, has a cat named Computer Blue, and gets lost in his 2×2 garden every day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *