Letting My Hair Down

Letting My Hair Down


And then my wry neck got so wry—
chicken-neck wring-wry—I had to spend
time with my hair down, like roots into the
ground of the air, my visible shock,
my “terror,” my “horror.” How I have come to
coddle them—my stuffed animal
fright-fur stands straight out to make me
bigger, to make me formidable—I am
formidably modest, formidably shy. And I have
liked wearing my foot-long electrical
force-field furled,
in a chignon, my
weapon ready to be unleashed, my
Medusa to turn on my Medea, oh yes I
think so: it turned her—through whom my life passed—
on, to cat-o’-nine-tails me.
But the bun crimps, and so I do my
morning dance as a bohemian dandelion,
the gray shawl pouring out of my head like time.
I love to shroud my upper body with this
silver, when I’m naked with him, he
loves to wake and look over and see
my head in a cloud. And somehow my mop
expresses something, it sings: do not
expect the tea-cup or the parlor, hold your
skirts and pants aside, Ladies and
Gents and Both and Neither, you are going through
the wild meadow. I owe my life
to my hair, it was all my father could reach
and grasp and haul, when I was five, and about to
float, fast, up to and over
Bridalveil Falls.

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