Today's poem is by Jennifer Jackson Berry

This Trouble of Curls

A woman my age with this trouble
of curls should have a regular stylist.
I go to Supercuts. I 've been broken up with
by more hairdressers than boyfriends.
Janine got fired two years ago
& didn't take my number from the rolodex.
Before her, Kate moved to Arizona
& didn't tell me. I left Tammy decades ago,
but she was begging for it.
How could she dye blonde a chunk of hair
left an inch longer than my bob,
a side-tail just above my left collar bone
& think it looked good?
My husband remembers that flax curl
from 8th grade, teases me.
He's still upset only one person noticed
when he cut his tail the next year.
He was nervous the weekend before
going back to school a different man,
his mid-back lock just a scut at his nape.
My neck is cold.
A little off the length didn't translate this time.
It's October so my elbows are covered.
We live in a time of three-quarter sleeves.
I grew up when it was only short sleeve
or long sleeve & the girls at Fantastic Sam's
had pet names in lights above their stations:
Sweet Pea, Angel, Toots.
Cookie took the thinning shears to my hair once.
She said, Don't tell your dad I made you look 21.
I looked like her: tough, teased.
It was the most amazing mullet
back when mullets were allowed.
I'll keep going to the chains with the just-
graduated girls. I'll hope for someone who studied.
Last week when my latest girl asked her coworker
for a Mason Pearson brush, then muttered,
Didn't you pay attention in school?
I knew I'd give up my head to her.

Copyright © 2017 Jennifer Jackson Berry All rights reserved
from The Feeder
YesYes Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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