Monday, May 13, 2013

BAD HAIR DAY

BAD HAIR DAY
—Oh, what a tangled web we weave
Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, 1808


This morning I awoke with dreadlocks.
My granny would've dubbed it a mare's nest.
What was I doing last night,
dream-cruising with the Hells Angels?


I contemplate the massive tangle
strand by matted strand, or rather, twig by twig—
the catalyst from yesterday's losing battle
with an overgrown crepe myrtle slowly dying for years—
falls out around me like a deconstructed nest
at an archaeological dig.


As I crashed about in the underbrush,
a hummingbird watched with vested interest.
Patrolled and scolded me. Form follows form.
I was flocked with a wreath of crepe myrtle
wings, stained the color of dying royalty, or sorrow.


I spray my nest with Neat's Foot oil,
bottled with enough patience to tame
a horse's tail or the industrial-sized "kitchen"
nesting at the back of my neck.


Born with an abundance of impatience,
I once whacked my matted hair off at the nape.
I was Samson, I was Delilah. Shorn
of my long locks, I was defrocked.
I yanked on my hair to make it grow.


My mane is my Familiar, curled on my shoulder
like a ship's cat, or a feathered serpent
hissing protectively down the curve of my spine
to the trinity of sacrum, ischium and Ilium.


There was so much duff trapped in my hair,
I had to sweep it out the door.
Soon, the birds will follow like gleaners
to scoop up my hair to line their nests.


5/13

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