Learning How to Braid

For as long as I can remember,
my mom braided my hair,
Her fingers take my hair in three parts
at the top of my head, she starts
with a glass full of water.
In that I sat, shifting to the right
then to the left; a cup of water
she dips her fingers in and continues.

10 years later I stare at my own eyes:
“Mom was right.”
I grab my hair, look at the comb.
“Should’ve learned. . .”
My hands reach for my phone, my fingers glide as they type
“How to braid your own hair”

“One day you will have to learn this.”
I say nothing,
In those days I wasn’t into braids.
I thought of it being too girly
That went with bright pink dresses
Tight skin tights that matched the hair ties.
“I don’t like braids.” I pouted.
Arms crossed and eyes wandering. Impatient.

Three sections is what I remembered:
One over the other and I repeat,
My first braid loose and messy.
I lowered my head. My first try
Hanging down my back.
Proud that I did it, I stood straight.
Next time:

I took the three sections:
Tipping my head back to help me
With the weaving.
One over the other
I lay over with my fingers tighten as I go.
Careful not to let any strands free or left out.
I continue until my hair runs out.
I get up with a better braid….
Better than the last, the first messy braid.

My lips slip into a smile
“I finally learned how to braid.”

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