Brett Elizabeth Jenkins


If home is where you hang your hat, maybe it all depends on what
sort of hat you've got. A ten gallon hat falls easy off a nail in the wall.
No home for that. Grandma had an old church hat, hung all the time
in her face. Grandma's home is in her face.

If home is where you hang your head and cry, cowboys might live
forever in dusty saloons. Lots of people would have just a bed
for a home, and some would push suitcases into church confessionals.
No water in the desert, except for all that crying you're doing.

But you could hang your hat from a cactus if push came to shove.
If home is where you push and shove, lots of my old houses were homes.
If home is where you push, there would be more home births, more midwives.
If home is where the heart is, my home is somewhere behind bone bars.

If your hat is where you hang your heart, don’t get a ten gallon hat.
Your little heart would be swallowed in the emptiness.
If your heart is where you hang your hat, your heart is a rusty nail or tall
and wooden, lacquered, pronged, which seems would never fit inside a little body

Brett Elizabeth Jenkins currently lives and writes in Albert Lea, MN with her husband and no children. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Potomac Review, PANK, elimae, and elsewhere.

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