Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#12


My Mother's Hair

when she was a baby she stood out in the sea of dark-haired cousins
like a bright-blond reflection of a star
disconcerting everyone with her smile
as a teen she posed red-lipsticked over her shoulder glancing
that famous hair curled marilyn style
you should have seen it!

as a bride in satin blond as she
the rest of the world just paled around her
then she divorced her husband and let her hair grow long
tied it in a braid dressed in peasant blouses went off to college
met my father
he released the long and golden strands
they saved him from the darkness
but agitated me when i was born
and when i could speak demanded that she wear her braid again
too much softness! too much light! i couldn't bare it
even as a baby i knew i could never be
a woman like her
never stop men on the street
and rescue one the way she had my father

i grew up dark-haired sullen like those faceless cousins
no one's starlight
no one's sun
how i wanted to shine like her
hacked off my own hair
burned it raw with bleach
it didn't work
and finally
when i had begun to accept myself
she was already growing tiny, losing hair
and then so sick she couldn't eat or bathe or walk
she didn't want the surgery
she didn't want the chemo
she would have preferred the darkness the oblivion the ashes
but even as she died
held in our arms no more rapunzel
her eyes her smile
they set the world
a-fire




12 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. A simple whisper, "I miss you" travels out
    to the horizon, a message in a bottle
    only seeking you
    I wish you could come back to me
    but you are here, forever,
    watching the ocean
    drift in and out

    If you were here I'd bring you coffee and the
    favorite scone you like
    from the coffee shop where we met
    out on the sidewalk, looking at me
    like an angel
    waiting to save me

    the ocean drifts in,
    the ocean drifts out,
    dangerous- my solace and peace
    and faith and hate.

    Here is the link to my blog, where I've been posting all the poems as well. http://adodge529.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/poetry-challenge-day-12/

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  3. my powers are limited and my weakness great

    i’d rather set this story aside and forget i ever opened it
    the pages are filled with all my self-doubt and the cover
    crawls with a reflection of my eyes sprouting
    thousands of eyelash legs that creep across the title
    as they whisper with their deep, watery pupils that
    i am lonely and afraid to be any lonelier

    i learn to give books away to friends and pretend
    they are gifts instead of voodoo objects that could
    potentially haunt anyone who reads them and
    i burn my journals instead of re-opening them
    and when i visit my mom i tell her about stories
    and television shows and links i find on the internet
    as if i am gathering yarn from my thoughts
    so she might be able to crochet a softer blanket

    then i go home and obsess over my lack
    of concentration and sometimes my over-obsessing
    and mostly on the words repeating in my head
    my powers are limited, my weakness great

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  4. Wigs

    G can choose from six wigs
    though now, a year post-chemo, mostly it's her own hair
    she lets fly in the wind.

    There's the blond bob and five shades of brunette
    all short compared to R
    but a couple lace down to mid-back.

    She says there were days she had to find some way to rise
    and feed her kids during three hundred days of treatment
    so she did, wig or not.

    She says her skin, like her clothes, sloughed off her hips.
    Photos show her staring at the camera, daring it
    to say she looks anything but alive.

    Vitiligo developed across her upper chest and back and face
    but somehow a heart appeared on her right shoulder blade
    about the size of nearly touching your thumb to ring finger

    it's still there
    although the heart that grew on her face faded.
    I think she grew extra because she has more heart than most

    anyone I know. So now when she wears spaghetti strap shirts
    and the sun comes out if she forgets it turns the pale heart pink
    which seems appropriate, if risky, for a cancer survivor.

    Still, she smiles when I trace my index finger on the perimeter
    like tracking a route on a map of her heart
    while her own hair smells of coconut shampoo.

    She says she loves Halloween
    so maybe the wigs will come in handy then
    when she can hide amidst everyone from D.

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  5. Natalie Doll

    Natalie Doll
    Let down your hair
    For you
    I cut mine
    To be your match
    I wore your clothes
    I ran your lines

    Off camera
    On mornings

    When you needed to sleep
    You gave me the chance
    To play
    A scene
    With Dustin
    You gave me a
    Golden elephant
    Journal
    You told me to
    Write my thoughts

    Natalie laughter
    Natalie kind

    Tiny vegetarian love
    In fake plastic shoes
    Thank you
    For being
    Number One

    Second team, first choice
    Toy store magic dance

    Napping in the stories section
    Watching from the second story
    The world crumbled
    Squid
    Ink
    Splattered

    Broken ship
    Heart of sadness
    And ticking clocks
    Rusty waves
    Unsettled tides
    Helm to guide the way

    Dancing with the crane
    Angelo calling my name
    Rehearse again
    And again
    Three days
    To get it right

    The dance

    “I’ll miss you”
    I said
    To him
    At the end

    Lights go out
    Booth street walk
    Park
    Shelter
    Sob

    Spark
    Shadow
    Flash

    Natalie Doll
    Lighting space
    Floating grace
    Smile
    Skin
    Heart
    You are
    A star

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  6. this poem is so amazing, so beautiful. it made me cry. it really reminds me of my mother and i.

    Lucy

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  7. “Sirena”
    the shallows sweep me up
    in the tiny sea shells i lift
    to hear a lie of an ocean
    i dream of such magnitude
    sky and sea lingering sun
    beams; whales large enough
    to swallow me until i can
    learn to live honestly
    without artifice, clinging
    to my disguses barnicle
    heavy, algae twining to
    form long, long hair
    just singing to call the
    sailors home.

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  8. The Tower

    She's back in the tower now.
    He wanted to tear it
    Down, he knew that it was
    Hers.

    She kept it.

    She dreamed for years
    Of soft hands in her hair, of the
    Taste of rampion in her mouth
    Of falling stone
    Of the card which brings;

    Chaos, change,
    Downfall, ruin,
    And sometimes
    Finally,
    Realization of truth.

    She knew, you see,
    She knew,
    She saw it in the cards,
    That while love is
    All very well
    Love doesn't always last
    Forever.
    Not as long as stone walls,
    As the floors she paced
    And the window she
    Waited at, and the peace she had there,
    And craved till she thought she
    Could die,
    And finally came home to
    For
    Ever after

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  9. 12. barbie

    we always knew the truth was out there
    alien conspiracies
    building mysteries

    one-oh-one
    eleven-eleven
    even our lucky numbers were compatible
    our secret language consisted of one word
    (i'll never tell)
    friends forever and
    ever
    impromptu trance dance parties
    sweaty and silly and completely ourselves

    the cord of connection frayed
    little bits
    almost imperceptibly
    i started getting drunk a lot
    teetering on chunky heels hoping to
    fall into the arms of a boy who would
    save me
    (a feminist with a touch of white knight syndrome)
    you started obsessing over star trek hoping to
    fall into an alternate universe that would
    save you
    (a pragmatist with a taste for the supernatural)

    i longed to be a supermodel
    you longed to be understood
    i dolled you up in sundresses
    painted your lips with gloss
    combed your hair
    it was so long then,
    hanging over your shoulder like
    waves of wheat

    how we laughed! click
    click went the camera
    we both felt so pretty

    we met our loves across the universe
    you saw through mine as if he was
    glass
    his coldness fragility sharp
    edges and hairline fractures
    your lover, on the other hand, was
    perfect, i
    chose to drink and
    vomit my insecurities
    hungover with longing with
    love with desire with
    all the things we would giggle about during
    sleepovers
    you loved my adventures my imagination my
    pining for cute catholic boys with spiky
    hair and stupid mouths

    you came to find me after the bad thing
    i was too busy being rebellious and
    acting cooler than i was
    (this is what regret feels like)
    you left
    and you were happy
    i left
    my self respect on his floor, right
    next to my rumpled clothes

    there were phone calls
    a few visits
    you abandoned the computer screen to live your reality
    (and here we were, thinking you were the later bloomer)
    i lived like a troll
    under the cover of darkness, wishing
    we could wear lipstick and
    build more mysteries
    trance dance
    no one understood my insecurities quite like you

    the levees broke
    you were safe in your trailer, you
    said talk soon
    you came back to brooklyn to visit and brought your new
    life your wife your
    cool crowd
    i brought my technicolor hair and tight
    shirts and
    cat's eye glasses
    (you even had a new me)

    we went to dinner there was something in the
    air your friends thought i wasted money you
    thought so too my vintage was overpriced you made fun of me and i couldn't understand why
    i was suddenly the outcast in your life

    we promised to meet up again before you
    left you chose to see other people i said fuck
    it and went out on a date with a spiky haired loser

    you went home.

    i found love moved again this time things were so much
    better
    we facebooked and pretended nothing ever went
    wrong
    you were happy for me
    i was happy for you
    a whole life to visit to see each other's families to be friends!

    then the call came.
    you were
    so fucking upbeat with your newfound southern drawl
    three years
    your stomach
    things growing
    three years
    three years
    three years

    i told you about my engagement ring and my lover man
    you would hang on to party at the wedding we
    would trance dance we would have so much fun i would see you again

    one year
    one year
    one year
    i hoped for miracles
    i did not want to be realistic i
    just wanted my friend back i
    wanted to scoop up all the wasted space and
    separation and start
    again
    your hair fell out
    your smile remained
    you went to disneyworld and posted the pictures
    one year
    one year
    one year
    people probably wonder why i still
    mourn one year
    one year
    one year
    i found out on facebook
    your death reduced to a status update
    (i fucking loathe our dependence on technology)

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