Hair – Prompt 10

We lived off Prospect.
It was my father’s first house purchase;
he and my mother were young marrieds.

That house seemed gigantic; I was five.

Only through overhearing my mother
tell this do I recall
having my hair dressed
by the neighbors
down the street.

She was looking for me.
Hours earlier, I had gone to play with a friend.
A car came to the front of the house and out I was delivered,
my hair in cornrows.

She told my father, who
moved us to a homogeneous backwater,
where I watched my mother as a touchstone
of how/how not to behave.

If only all of the above could have happened within
the last few years, with Internet, viral video, etc,
I might have
grown up with a mother
who wouldn’t see those braids as a threat.

2 thoughts on “Hair – Prompt 10

  1. As I coursed through the poems, it was the opening line of this that made me stop to read. How simple a statement, but it felt ‘grounded.’ It drew me in. I love the idea of only a knowing a story through what we’ve heard retold. That’s so true of so much of our childhood stories.

    1. Thank you, Denise! More and more, I look to the things I remember, or forgot/thought I forgot until something reminded me. Interesting, too, is how Rashomonlike our own memories are from a family member’s of the same event.

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