AURORA M. LEWIS

 

MY HAIR

Lewis.jpg

She was blond wearing a pageboy hair-do

I was jealous, her father made bread

put her face on the package, with her

yellow hair

 

Sears and Roebuck, sitting at the foot of

a White mannequin, on my tippy-toes

I strained to touch her strains, stiff

 non-forgiving, snatching back my hand

 

Don’t get your hair wet I can hear my

mother say, took her all day to get it

straight that way

 

A fly could slip, break his back if he

landed on my hair making me shudder

 at the melting grease running down

my scalp

 

I grew to embrace my nappy locks

the softness tangling among my

fingertips

 

The first time I wore an Afro

some old White woman asked

was a man, smiling, my chin held

 high, my hair says who I am