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Annie the Bard, Ann Bardens-McClellan

Hair Cut


She tried to tame my hair
like she did my life, pouring
ashes on my fire, pinching
out the candle of my spirit.
My hair was easy, thinning,
cutting—she loved sharp
things. But deep within
a tiny spark kept
smoldering.

I huddled inside the skin
prison she fashioned, no knife
to cut my way out, no match
to light the path. Mute
in the dark I gnawed the bone
of loneliness, hunger never
assuaged. When I looked
out, her stained eyes
stabbed me rigid.

After I smiled my way
through bruises inside
and out, ears ringing
with secrets, my spirit
flared into a conflagration
nearly consuming me. It raged
until I was spent and ached
for woodsy walks and swims
in blissful depths.

Now my body's roots
penetrate earth's core,
balancing me. My sweetheart
and I dance dark nights into light.
Pain dissolves into the poetry
of wet kisses and strong arms.
My hair flames up whenever
it wants, afire with love.

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