Thursday, June 28, 2012


(This is a poem I wrote almost 4 years ago, on the occasion of my middle daughter's first haircut. It makes me a little melancholy even now.)

On Saturday her hair was cut. It had been coming for some time
her honey-shaded ringlets tangled, wild
down to the small of her back when wet
forest creature hair. and hair that hurt
snarls and knots too deep to extract
or not easily, anyway. only with time, patience
and tears, hers and ours
as she protested furiously the persistent tugs of the brush

Enough, we'd all decided, time for it to end
She most eager of us all
sitting up smiling in the barber's chair
her small chin resting on the smock
her graceful head relaxed into the hairdresser's hands
as the scissors cut away her curls
her dark sunshine tips
as the hair fell to the ground
my baby's baby hair, to be swept away quietly

and her face, emerging within its new soft brown bob
shaped and framed by the clinging tendrils of shining hair
suddenly, was not the face of a baby
but of a girlchild, knowing and mysterious
smiling into her own eyes in the mirror
looking upon the future there in her reflection

the only tears shed were mine. of course they were
as I collected a whisper of ringlet to put away in my box
and lifted down my daughter from her high perch
and kissed her somehow-older cheek
and sighed.

- 4/08/08

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