#12


My Mother's Hair

when she was a baby she stood out in the sea of dark-haired cousins
like a bright-blond reflection of a star
disconcerting everyone with her smile
as a teen she posed red-lipsticked over her shoulder glancing
that famous hair curled marilyn style
you should have seen it!

as a bride in satin blond as she
the rest of the world just paled around her
then she divorced her husband and let her hair grow long
tied it in a braid dressed in peasant blouses went off to college
met my father
he released the long and golden strands
they saved him from the darkness
but agitated me when i was born
and when i could speak demanded that she wear her braid again
too much softness! too much light! i couldn't bare it
even as a baby i knew i could never be
a woman like her
never stop men on the street
and rescue one the way she had my father

i grew up dark-haired sullen like those faceless cousins
no one's starlight
no one's sun
how i wanted to shine like her
hacked off my own hair
burned it raw with bleach
it didn't work
and finally
when i had begun to accept myself
she was already growing tiny, losing hair
and then so sick she couldn't eat or bathe or walk
she didn't want the surgery
she didn't want the chemo
she would have preferred the darkness the oblivion the ashes
but even as she died
held in our arms no more rapunzel
her eyes her smile
they set the world
a-fire




Comments

  • Jessa Marie Saturday, 01 September 2012

    one year one year one year we were twin stars burn...

    one yearone yearone yearwe were twin stars burnbright fast driftingapart, pulled bycelestial forces, gravitylovereinventionwhen everyone else was off manufacturing dramawielding knives fucking my tortureryou were theretwo hour phone conversations apple cider atthe farmer's market reading mywriting and buying me referencebooks so that i wouldn't give up walkingthrough the halls of grand army plaza thumbingthrough brittle books, pages splittingfrom the seamsthis will be you someday, you said, thatmischiveous hopeful true smile lightingyour faceso much wiser than i will ever be.

  • Jessa Marie Saturday, 01 September 2012

    12. barbie we always knew the truth was out there...

    12. barbiewe always knew the truth was out therealien conspiraciesbuilding mysteriesone-oh-oneeleven-eleveneven our lucky numbers were compatibleour secret language consisted of one word(i'll never tell)friends forever andeverimpromptu trance dance parties sweaty and silly and completely ourselvesthe cord of connection frayedlittle bitsalmost imperceptiblyi started getting drunk a lotteetering on chunky heels hoping tofall into the arms of a boy who wouldsave me(a feminist with a touch of white knight syndrome)you started obsessing over star trek hoping tofall into an alternate universe that wouldsave you(a pragmatist with a taste for the supernatural)i longed to be a supermodelyou longed to be understoodi dolled you up in sundressespainted your lips with glosscombed your hairit was so long then,hanging over your shoulder likewaves of wheathow we laughed! clickclick went the camerawe both felt so prettywe met our loves across the universeyou saw through mine as if he wasglasshis coldness fragility sharpedges and hairline fracturesyour lover, on the other hand, wasperfect, ichose to drink andvomit my insecuritieshungover with longing withlove with desire withall the things we would giggle about duringsleepoversyou loved my adventures my imagination mypining for cute catholic boys with spikyhair and stupid mouthsyou came to find me after the bad thingi was too busy being rebellious andacting cooler than i was(this is what regret feels like)you leftand you were happyi leftmy self respect on his floor, rightnext to my rumpled clothesthere were phone callsa few visitsyou abandoned the computer screen to live your reality(and here we were, thinking you were the later bloomer)i lived like a trollunder the cover of darkness, wishingwe could wear lipstick andbuild more mysteriestrance danceno one understood my insecurities quite like youthe levees brokeyou were safe in your trailer, yousaid talk soonyou came back to brooklyn to visit and brought your newlife your wife your cool crowdi brought my technicolor hair and tightshirts and cat's eye glasses(you even had a new me)we went to dinner there was something in theair your friends thought i wasted money youthought so too my vintage was overpriced you made fun of me and i couldn't understand whyi was suddenly the outcast in your lifewe promised to meet up again before youleft you chose to see other people i said fuckit and went out on a date with a spiky haired loseryou went home.i found love moved again this time things were so muchbetterwe facebooked and pretended nothing ever went wrongyou were happy for mei was happy for youa whole life to visit to see each other's families to be friends!then the call came. you wereso fucking upbeat with your newfound southern drawlthree years your stomachthings growingthree yearsthree yearsthree yearsi told you about my engagement ring and my lover manyou would hang on to party at the wedding wewould trance dance we would have so much fun i would see you againone yearone yearone yeari hoped for miraclesi did not want to be realistic ijust wanted my friend back iwanted to scoop up all the wasted space andseparation and startagainyour hair fell outyour smile remainedyou went to disneyworld and posted the picturesone yearone yearone yearpeople probably wonder why i stillmourn one yearone yearone yeari found out on facebookyour death reduced to a status update(i fucking loathe our dependence on technology)

  • Imogen Friday, 31 August 2012

    The Tower She's back in the tower now. He wan...

    The TowerShe's back in the tower now.He wanted to tear it Down, he knew that it wasHers.She kept it.She dreamed for yearsOf soft hands in her hair, of theTaste of rampion in her mouthOf falling stone Of the card which brings;Chaos, change,Downfall, ruin,And sometimesFinally,Realization of truth.She knew, you see,She knew,She saw it in the cards,That while love isAll very wellLove doesn't always lastForever.Not as long as stone walls,As the floors she pacedAnd the window sheWaited at, and the peace she had there,And craved till she thought she Could die,And finally came home toForEver after

  • anaisbelieve Friday, 31 August 2012

    “Sirena” the shallows sweep me up in the tiny sea ...

    “Sirena”the shallows sweep me upin the tiny sea shells i liftto hear a lie of an oceani dream of such magnitudesky and sea lingering sunbeams; whales large enoughto swallow me until i canlearn to live honestlywithout artifice, clingingto my disguses barnicleheavy, algae twining toform long, long hairjust singing to call thesailors home.

  • Anonymous Friday, 31 August 2012

    this poem is so amazing, so beautiful. it made me ...

    this poem is so amazing, so beautiful. it made me cry. it really reminds me of my mother and i.Lucy

  • Lulu Rose Thursday, 30 August 2012

    Natalie Doll Natalie Doll Let down your hair For ...

    Natalie DollNatalie DollLet down your hairFor you I cut mine To be your matchI wore your clothesI ran your linesOff cameraOn mornings When you needed to sleep You gave me the chanceTo playA sceneWith DustinYou gave me a Golden elephant Journal You told me toWrite my thoughtsNatalie laughterNatalie kindTiny vegetarian love In fake plastic shoesThank youFor being Number OneSecond team, first choiceToy store magic danceNapping in the stories sectionWatching from the second storyThe world crumbledSquidInkSplatteredBroken shipHeart of sadnessAnd ticking clocksRusty wavesUnsettled tidesHelm to guide the wayDancing with the craneAngelo calling my nameRehearse againAnd againThree days To get it rightThe dance“I’ll miss you” I said To himAt the endLights go outBooth street walkParkShelterSobSparkShadowFlashNatalie DollLighting spaceFloating graceSmileSkinHeartYou are A star

  • francescalia Thursday, 30 August 2012

    love this

    love this

  • Exitonpch Thursday, 30 August 2012

    Wigs G can choose from six wigs though now, a yea...

    WigsG can choose from six wigsthough now, a year post-chemo, mostly it's her own hairshe lets fly in the wind.There's the blond bob and five shades of brunetteall short compared to Rbut a couple lace down to mid-back.She says there were days she had to find some way to riseand feed her kids during three hundred days of treatmentso she did, wig or not.She says her skin, like her clothes, sloughed off her hips.Photos show her staring at the camera, daring itto say she looks anything but alive.Vitiligo developed across her upper chest and back and facebut somehow a heart appeared on her right shoulder bladeabout the size of nearly touching your thumb to ring fingerit's still therealthough the heart that grew on her face faded.I think she grew extra because she has more heart than mostanyone I know. So now when she wears spaghetti strap shirtsand the sun comes out if she forgets it turns the pale heart pinkwhich seems appropriate, if risky, for a cancer survivor.Still, she smiles when I trace my index finger on the perimeterlike tracking a route on a map of her heartwhile her own hair smells of coconut shampoo.She says she loves Halloweenso maybe the wigs will come in handy thenwhen she can hide amidst everyone from D.

  • Krista Thursday, 30 August 2012

    my powers are limited and my weakness great i’d r...

    my powers are limited and my weakness greati’d rather set this story aside and forget i ever opened itthe pages are filled with all my self-doubt and the covercrawls with a reflection of my eyes sproutingthousands of eyelash legs that creep across the titleas they whisper with their deep, watery pupils thati am lonely and afraid to be any lonelieri learn to give books away to friends and pretendthey are gifts instead of voodoo objects that couldpotentially haunt anyone who reads them andi burn my journals instead of re-opening themand when i visit my mom i tell her about storiesand television shows and links i find on the internetas if i am gathering yarn from my thoughtsso she might be able to crochet a softer blanketthen i go home and obsess over my lackof concentration and sometimes my over-obsessingand mostly on the words repeating in my headmy powers are limited, my weakness great

  • Ashley Elizabeth Wednesday, 29 August 2012

    A simple whisper, "I miss you" travels o...

    A simple whisper, "I miss you" travels outto the horizon, a message in a bottleonly seeking you I wish you could come back to me but you are here, forever,watching the ocean drift in and outIf you were here I'd bring you coffee and thefavorite scone you like from the coffee shop where we metout on the sidewalk, looking at melike an angelwaiting to save me the ocean drifts in, the ocean drifts out, dangerous- my solace and peaceand faith and hate. Here is the link to my blog, where I've been posting all the poems as well. http://adodge529.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/poetry-challenge-day-12/

  • Ashley Elizabeth Wednesday, 29 August 2012

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Ashley Elizabeth Wednesday, 29 August 2012

    So beautiful.

    So beautiful.

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