Waiting at Aveda, poem by Susan Budig (MY MANE MEMORIES Poetry and Prose Series)

Silver Birch Press

Closeup on young woman combing hair
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 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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