Five Meditations on Hair – Lisa Zimmerman

1.
My first-born daughter’s bald head crowned
in the slate room before dawn
though hours would climb down the stairs of my body
before she emerged whole, glistening.
In high school she would dye her long hair black
because being blonde was overrated.

2.
The second daughter shaved half her head
when the P.E. teacher confessed to class
she had breast cancer. Two years later that daughter
shaved off all of her abundant red hair and I said
not beautiful. And I thought Dachau.

3.
My boy’s first haircut was at age two.
He had curls. They fell like pale feathers
beneath the girl’s swift scissors.

4.
When my son was fourteen I showed him
all the gray hair in my bangs.
He said It looks like tinsel.
Last August he got his head buzzed for Kung Fu.
He looked like a Marine. I say The war in Iraq
cannot have him.

5.
The filly is as tall as the mare. They stand together
against the fence like sisters. I comb her long black tail.
Tucked inside, near the bottom, is a black corkscrew
of hair. It is the first tail, the one she was born with.

Lisa ZIMMERMAN
First published in THE LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING,
Anhinga Press

Posted in Blog.

2 Comments

  1. brilliant poem; lisa zimmerman is a poet who deserves much more attention; I heard this poem read aloud at a conference and it brought the house down.

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