Monday, March 31, 2008


for ReadWritePoem March 31, 2008
We had to eavesdrop then write a prose poem.
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Standing out in the hallway between classes I heard one guy say to another:

“Hey, man, your hair looks especially fro-ish today.”
And that reminded me of my own hair when I was their age.
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When I was sixteen, I’d do anything for straight hair. Before dances Anita would get the ironing board out, lay a dish towel on top of my curls, put a hot iron on it, and I would pull my straight hair out. I’d shake my head back and forth to make my hair fly like a comet tail.

In those Beatles-crazy days, I used U.N.C.U.R.L. and Curl Free to look like everyone else. It never worked.

I’d wrap my freshly-Prelled hair around my head using it as a huge roller then sit under a space-suit-looking hair dryer for a couple hours and pray that it wouldn’t rain or get humid. It always did.

In college, once, on a rainy morning, I taped the middle third of my bangs to my nose, and used clips to hold the other thirds straight against the sides of my head until I made it to class. I huddled under an umbrella to hide this straightening device. Wouldn’t you know, a guy approached me from behind, put his arm around me, and asked if he could share my umbrella. I tried to hide my face but when he saw the alien walking with him, he took off.

Now that I’m older, I let my shoulder-length hair have its own way. Remember those banana curls your mother would spend hours creating by wrapping your hair around her fingers? Mine does that automatically.

Last week, I had to go to the garage my husband visits after work each afternoon, to get something from him. After I left, one of the other guys in there asked him if I had dreadlocks!

And tonight, when my logger husband got home, he buried his face in my hair and said, “Mmmm, you smell good.” I said, “After a day at school?” He said simply, “You smell better than a skidder.”

Just a small victory for a curly-headed misfit.


paisley said...

i too have thick wavy/ curly hair... the only time in my whole life my hair was in style was during the eighties... it was big and beautiful,, and everyone was envious... for about 8 years.......and then it went out of style... and i still have the same damn hair.....

Jo said...

oh no guys curls are always in style, I love em. I have funny hair that if left is wavycurly for about a day but if slept on goes straight, and dries perfectly straight. I'd LOVE wild curly hair.
Anyway, I enjoyed this, it was fun (and my aunt used to iron her curly hair straight under brown paper).

Crafty Green Poet said...

I enjoyed this, hair is such an important part of image... I have long hair that I plait at night to stop it getting entangled so there is always a slight wave to my hair which I love. When young I had almost no hair at one point, big mistake as my head doesn't look good with no hair....

gautami tripathy said...

I have mid thigh length hair. VERY straight! To manage the length, I keep it plaited almost al the time!

Being in fashion? Forget it!


last journey

Christine said...

A fun read that made me smile a lot. I love when the husband sniffs the narrrator's curls. Finally love and self-acceptance.

Jessica said...

Curly-headed women unite! I tried the straightening thing until about 5 years ago, and it never worked. I always had one bump in the back that was wavy. Yuck.

I loved this piece. Obviously it struck a cord with a lot of us. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, this was just wonderful! What a nice husband you have!

Anonymous said...

better than a skidder--i'll have to share this story with my spouse!

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