Poetry Corner

Brushing my hair

Illustration by Suzy Varty
Audio version of this poem.
 
 Roots tingling
 Feels like love
 Head soothed,
 Teeth biting through
 Tangled strands.
 Cross-legged
 On the classroom carpet
 Hearing stories while 
 Forgotten first friends 
 Plait
                 Braid
 Twist
                 Split hairs.
 I even liked my hair being pulled 
 By vainglorious boys in pursuit of a kiss.
 Moving up to girlie nights in
 with crimpers and tongs,
 Sizzling keratin, dodgy perms,
 Muddy hennas, hot-oils,
 Gels, wax and serum -
 Putting the shine back in
 As glossy youth is lost.
  
 I used to brush my daughter's hair,
 Feel it slip through my fingers
 Now she is reluctant to be fussed
 It is short
 She is taller,
 But my son still takes my comb
 With tenderness in each stroke
 I know it can't last,
 It calms my fears,
 Even thoughts need to be touched
 Cradled and caressed,
 We sit chatting
 Cross-legged
 Laughing and putting the world to rights.
 He rubs my temples
 And weaves his stories
 Into my tired hair. 

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken