16

Some lament their long-gone hair

When chemo steals it, leaves them bald.

Some wear hats to hide behind,

While others flash their flowing scarves.

 

Like hamsters falling from their heads,

Large clumps fall out and make them cry—

But that’s not how my headgear feels;

Mine is a symbol that I’m winning a fight.

Mine is my warrior helmet bright.

Mine tells the world that I’m not afraid

To wear hats or wigs—to go hairless in spite!

 

One friend wore wigs,

Though they itched worse than fleas.

She covered her pate with the greatest of ease

With a straw farming hat just as sweet as you please.

 

One stood on the backstep,

Each day in the breeze,

And flung her gold locks

To the birds in the trees,

With prayers up to God as she tossed it around,

To line their nests with a gift of soft down.

 

Another sweet lady,

Though age-spotted and old,

Skipped out on the wig

Laced with silver and gold—

And instead, got hairdos to wear that were PINK!

And made a statement far bolder, I think.

Than to camouflage her head in retreat

As if nothing was different, and all was complete.

 

And yet still another wore baseball caps,

She wasn’t athletic, but stood staunchly ‘at bat’.

She beat all the odds; she beat all the stats,

Outlasting the chemo and growing it back.

She grew back her lashes, her eyebrows and all.

And gave all the caps to some kid who plays ball.

 

Me, I still have boxes of hats from my Mom,

Who lost her battle and now is gone.

We’d ‘dress to the nines’ on Infusion Day.

Hats, shoes and jewelry, in warrior array.

Because dignity, pride, and holding your ground

Are just as important as the hair on one’s crown

 

If what’s on the inside marks what on your head,

If the hair’s not just for beauty, but battle instead,

Then bring on the armor, and I’ll fight like a bear.

It’s all about battle—and not about hair!

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