Angela Allen

Aged photo of a young woman with long hair with an ethereal overlay of trees and reflections

My hair drifted downward,
longer each year,
my own private power,
swinging loose and free.
Boys longed to stroke it
with their blundering hands.
I hid pale behind its veil.
“Veronica Lake,” someone said,
“I’m so missing your face!”

Chopped off later,
locks lay like fresh hay
on the beauty-shop floor.
My father announced
I‘d “come around.”
I cropped it shorter and
shorter, and with each style,
“Oh my God,” they shrieked.
“You cut your hair!”

Exclamations, declarations
echoed again—and again.
When Covid struck, my hair
forged its stubborn course,
a fading blond stream
swept up in a rush
of silvery-grey currents,
while the chorus chanted,
“Your hair, it’s so long!”

It just goes on and on.