Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poetry Slam Tuesdays: The Way Her Exasperation Eased With the Hair

by Julie Cadwallader-Staub

[via flickr]

Perhaps everyone else has forgotten it,
but in the days when my mother
poured her midsection into a girdle;
when she gathered her nylons into flimsy donuts
before unrolling them, up one leg and then the other;
in the days when we, her daughters,
fastened bulky sanitary napkins
to sanitary napkin belts,
there was Dippity Do.

My mother dabbed the greenish blue gel from the jar,
reached up and slid a section of hair through her fingers,
then wound the hair around a bristly curler,
securing it against her scalp
with a plastic curler pin.

Now, my daughters trap and pull their naturally wavy hair
through the jaws of a straightener
so that their hair might be "as straight as a pin"
which is exactly the way
my mother used to describe her own hair
and, with an sense of tragedy, mine as well.

I don't know who decides whether curly or straight
is the right look for hair
and I can't say that I care,
but what matters to me still

is the way the light changed in my mother's eyes
as her gaze shifted
from her own reflection in the mirror
down to mine;
the way her exasperation eased
with the hair, the Dippity Do, the curlers;
the way the wrinkles over her cheekbones deepened,
and a smile emerged
as if we were co-conspirators,
co-creators, in some grand drama

as I handed her another curler,
another pin.

1 comment:

  1. Olá, gostei de seu blog e desde já quero dar-lhe os parabéns, Sou Antonio Batalha portugues e gostava de lhe fazer um convite: Tenho um blog Peregrino e servo, e se desejar fazer parceria me deixava muito honrado em tê-la como minha amiga virtual, claro que vou retribuir. Obrigado e tudo de bom.