“The Haircut”

I advised her against the haircut.

“You won’t be the same again,” I warned.

“I do with my hair what I want,” she replied,

“No matter what you or anyone else thinks.”

 

Oh to Christ would I wish she could see the love

and the affection I had in my solemnity!

For I’ve loved her since she was born,

her hair notwithstanding,

how it curls like a baby’s hooked arm on a blanket,

smooth and clean like a child’s washed head,

or how blonde it glows, just as my own daughter’s did,

all through her years.

 

She had the haircut not long ago, in a private place.

Her long strands have shortened. Neat, but a little abrupt.

I pray to God her years won’t be so.

She told me how the ugly scissors clipped away

at the hooked curls high above the blanket,

rough and dirty hands pulling at her head.

It’s still blonde but slightly darkened,

like a winter sun during a funeral.

Afterwards, the barber discarded the waste.

 

She seems happy with it, overall,

though her smiles are only half-full,

her glances darting at the corners of her eyes,

as if she worries what others think.

And the eyes have shadows too.

My motherly, muffled heart beats.

Oh to Christ if I could just take her in my arms

and cuddle her to sleep.

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