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Hair Care

At the end of the day,

I unweave the tangles from my hair.

I rake through my brain’s grass with naked fingers in implicit, tender devotion.

My hair is of the lions'

of the grasses on the wind-blown prairie

of the twisting waves of the misunderstood ocean.

This chore is a meditation on my day— my personal de-wilding.

The small tangles endlessly re-wind in their faithful companionship.

I wish I had roots entwined with another.

These strands are ancestral

passed down by every worried woman in my family.

Will I bring a daughter into this chaotic world?

Will she have my earthy, wavy ways bursting from her head, too?

Could I bring a daughter into a world so distraught?

I wonder and worry.

I get a curl when someone comments on the beautiful 70 degree weather in January.

A deep tangle forms at the base of my skull when I have the realization—

if we called it Father Nature instead of Mother,

would we have more respect?

Do we only abuse because it is mother

it is the feminine

it is the divine Gaia?

The ends split with news of the latest corruption or natural disaster or class divide.

These strands are fused by history to each other

and to the clumps and brambles brought on with each new spiraled thought.

No matter how I brush,

I can’t change what I was born into

this inheritance I didn’t ask for.

I continue to try.

Of course, I try.

Perhaps I should shave it all off and sit in the woods instead.


Amanda Mahaffey is a soft-hearted environmentalist living on an island in Washington state.

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