Bald Again, #125

When the first hair falls,
or the first cluster
of hair to be more
precise, in the past
a sense of stillness
would wash over me,
like the gentle hands
of a new mother
were rocking me back
and back, to a time
before I needed
to do and to be,
as if being bald
were how I was born
and where I was meant
to always return
to, no matter what
hairdo I was caught
toying with, shoulder
length, greasy teenaged
locks, the lazy fro
of my twenties, bowl
cut when I was young,
and this time, gay hair
spiked up and tried on.

But today, as soon
as the blade touched down
into the second
cut of rough my scalp
had become, I wished
I had shown more pluck,
more resolve, let grow
the follicles shorn
over the last years
again and again.
I grew the hair out
for the wrong reason,
to please a lover,
give her a garden
pined for yet sealed
behind a locked gate,
beneath a disguise
of frugal spending,
and of a haughty
belief. I trimmed it
for the wrong reasons,
to assert my will
over the moment,
over my body
and in the marriage.

When the flock of birds
turns left in the sky
and then turns back right
and swoops up and down
painting some odd arch
across the canvas
sky, we must ask why.
Is it out of choice
or obligation?
Otherwise we end
up twisted and flipped
around by a breeze
or word from the lips
of an animal
nature we are wont
to impress. A bear
slips down to the stream
where the salmon run
and opens his mouth
to welcome his chum
back. Not to eat them,
but to speak of kin,
the passing seasons
and what the salmon
thinks of his new hair.

Before my muzzle
could annunciate
my troubles, could beg
mother for a clean
diaper or different
sustenance, before
I had the muscle
to make words mambo,
she would cut my hair
or order my dad
to drag me along
to the barber’s chair,
and snip a bit here
and a smidgen there,
so I would appear
stylish, at least
not a thug, her son
would not undergo
the force her brother,
whose head would suffer
whenever father
could find the clippers
and cut, the force he
became a victim
of. Not on her watch.

My first lone weekend
at college, we walked
to the local shops
and bought what we could
find and afford, I,
a pair of clippers
and lopped of that mop
of requisite hair,
that forced upon rug
which never fit. Since
I have been shaving
and trimming to please
or anger every
friend, lover and lust
who, when I decide
on a different do
tell me no, leave it,
I like it. And now,
bald again, my skin
exposed and a bit
red, I wish I could
find a follicle
of self importance,
a reverence to cut
and to grow for me.

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A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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