Waiting at Aveda by Susan Budig As I sit here, waiting, I play my hair. Each end a snake’s forked tongue flicking the air. Amber calls my name, makes eye contact, while shaking hands. I follow afte…
As I sit here, waiting,
I play my hair.
Each end a snake’s forked tongue
flicking the air.
Amber calls my name,
makes eye contact,
while shaking hands.
I follow after her to a row
Of sinks and adjustable chairs.
My hair has been growing,
graying, for three years.
Now as the scissors do their work
I will be left in the middle —
a bird’s nest of severed hair.
Fingering the frayed tips,
I think of my hair’s history
tangled with memories of my sister.
When we were children,
she had long, brunette tresses
reaching past her shoulder blades.
Mother insisted I keep my hair
bobbed. Never long enough to pull
back into a ponytail. Or plait into braids.
Short dishwater blonde.
My childhood chore was to clean the bathroom,
I’d find her long strands
wrapped around the hairbrush
and circling the drain.
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My success does not depend on others’ acceptance of my work, but on my own perseverance.