Born blonde like tea overflowing
with a generous amount of milk,
off-white wisps thin and spiraling,
every strand a halo on the crown
of mother’s angel.
Growing up to see locks melting into honey
like the sun lapping its tongue over ripened
warm and out of sight and mind.
Long hair is a woman’s crowning glory,
and so she obeys and cannot understand
why it snarls at her and bites the bristles
that seek to tame it.
Locks fumble under fingers without tact
and braids become barbs that prick
her untouched skin,
that cuff her wrists until they submit
to the weathered ropes.
The cold scissor blade touches her neck
and she thought she was only cutting hair
but she sees now that she is cutting chains.
When does she cease attempting to tame
and begin attempting to destroy?
Bleach, burn, overburden with color until it
blanches twisted rainbows.
Kiss the silver scissors goodnight and bathe
in puddles of Pepto-Bismol and chemical
lavender, sleep on the bed of severed strands.
Tomorrow she will rise and rub her eyes,
stroke her crown before the mottled mirror,
refuse to ask forgiveness of the honey-melted
girl she cannot see.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.