We Won’t Say Too Much About The Hats by Buffy Shutt



Buffy Shutt lives in the San Gabriel mountains near Los Angeles where she writes poetry and short fiction. A two-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, her work appears in Lumina, Whatever Keeps The Lights On, Rise Up Review, Dodging the Rain, Split Lip Magazine, Anthropocene, What Rough Beast. She was awarded the Cobalt Review’s prize for their baseball issue.




























I want a friend like Florence Merriam Bailey. 

She pushed everyone around in

the gentlest of ways.

How else could she have stopped

the murder?


How else could she have convinced

women to stop decorating their hats

with bird feathers?

Five million birds every year—

five million—

were killed for



Instead of killing

she suggested we watch birds.

Even in this she was gentle.


When watching birds, she said

no need for a

lion’s roar of technical terms

no raging dullness

just proceed to some

birdy place and

sit and listen in



Florence Merriam Bailey

stopped murder  

and started birding

though there is some man

more credited

with suggesting

we go to birdy places

to watch.


His book was too heavy

to carry into the next room

let alone into the field.


All that is needed

Florence Merriam Bailey gently insisted is

a scrupulous conscience, unlimited patience, a notebook,

and an opera-glass.

The three will do if the opera glass is lacking.


Buffy Shutt