The Woebegone in Little Top Hats

 tophat2by Kate LaDew

She sees things. Little men in little top hats riding little horses with Abraham Lincoln beards. The little men and the little horses. She’s thought about telling someone but how can she with her brother the way he is: seeing dead babies and rat-infested corpses and Jesus dissolving on a cross. It would be like making a joke about dead babies or corpses or Jesus.

When she looks around at all the people in the world she wonders if the less woebegone ones are really just pretending not to see the things they see so the really crazy people don’t take offense. Maybe there are a million little bearded men riding little bearded horses everywhere all at once.

When she visits her brother now, instead of watching his arms tremble under the restraints, she watches the little men riding the little horses doffing their little top hats, smiling under their little beards. Sometimes, she pretends she has a little top hat too. She might.


Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art. She resides in Graham, North Carolina with her two cats, Janis Joplin and Charlie Chaplin.
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