Mama’s Hair

Mama’s Hair

Mama’s hair used to be brown,
My first memory of her, is being rocked in her arms,
nuzzled against the comfort of her big bosom
while she sang an off-tune lullaby,
her short brown hair crowning her head.
When I was three, mama dyed her hair black,
She took one looked in the mirror
and croaked,
“Oh God what have I done!”

She promptly bleached it out–
not thinking her hair might fall out!
It didn’t.
She was lucky.
When I was four she left her worldly ways
and joined the church, she got saved.
No more dying, bleaching and cutting her hair away,
she let it grow… and grow… and grow,
till it stopped way down her back.
Now a new problem arose,
how to fix such long hair.
She devised a plan,
She created a rat!
Made with her hair, saved from her brush,
it became a removable bouffant,
a portable pouf.
Scooping her now steely gray hair up into a ponytail,
she’d flip it upside down onto to the hairy little
rat she’d created,
and pinned it in place– it looked quite like a cow flop,
but she was proud of her self inspired top.
As time went on and I grew older,
I decided the cow flop had to go.
So from a teenager until she reached her seventies,
I maintained mama’s
hair.
Once, twice sometimes three times a week
I spun her now pearly white hair into a lovely
crown (still using that homemade rat to give it some height!)
Over time, her arms became heavy and weary,
and washing the snowy white strands became impossible for her.
So, the weekly hair styling also included shampoos!
And, soon my daughter grew old enough to help maintain her doos.
Maintaining her hair became a generational tradition,
she wasn’t about to cut it–the good book said you shouldn’t.
And, besides it was such a pretty mane
it would have been a shame.
In the fall in the winter of her life she took to her bed and
fell asleep one final time.
We chose her dress, the bright purple one,
with fashionable jacket and satin detailing down the side.
But, alas, what did the undertaker know about mama’s long hair,
he’d never perfect her pearly strands.
That was a task only for my daughter and I,
the final farewell the cherished goodbye,
we descended those steps were mama lay
and combed her hair and styled away,
perfecting each and every pearly white strand.
Scooping her hair unto a snowy pompadour,
one last final tribute to mama, her hair and that perennial rat!


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