When He Spoke

By Mark Yates

My father kept his ranger’s hat on the wall above his bed. It hung over his head while he slept, the same way crosses hang above the heads of many Catholics. The felt hat was brown and formal, with an extra wide brim and a black leather strap around the base, just like Smokey the Bear’s. My father kept four symmetrical dents in the top so he could hold it by the dome and put it square on his head with one hand.…

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