The Long and Short of It
by Robbi Nester
Once, I dreaded nothing more
than the two words “pixie cut.”
Feathery and fey, just barely
covering my ears. Wasn’t it
bad enough to have the stature
of an imp without the haircut too?
Like others cursed or blessed
with curls, I wish for nothing
but a thick straight do, growing
past my shoulders, down my back.
No braids for me, no smooth straight bob.
Grown long, my hair puffs out
around my head, a ball of baling wire,
dandelion gone to seed.
Nothing to do but snip it
till it piles around my ankles.
Hairdressers have shown me
the part I never see, lacking
a rearview mirror. Orderly curls
and waves others can only envy,
once pruned judiciously,
topiary in a formal garden.
But somehow, after I leave the shop,
each wave rebels, springing
sideways from my head,
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