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   after Donald Hall
by Karla Huston

Glory be to hair wrapped in rags, pincurled or twisted
'round steaming irons or frothed with Toni home perms,
part frizz and stink, the next day's disgrace. Perhaps
the beauty of bangs cut crooked, of braids and ponytails.

O hair of childhood, hair of sweet and nice, the way
mother pushed in waves, set, then spilled them to a surge.
O hair of youth, SunIn streaked or Nestlés incensed reds,
the curvy and asymmetrical, the bouffant, the ooh la la.

Splendiferous pixie and poodle and poof
and abundant Aqua Net to hold them stiff or flipped.
Then soft and insolent, begging to be ironed
straight, middle-parted, tucked behind ears.

O hair of dance and swing, O bob and beehive,
the Watusi of hair, the Shing-a-ling, the Philly Soul.
O rock of hair 'n' roll and California dreamin'
and bandanas tied mid-brow. O hair of war and peace.

The fabulous shag, the mullet, the rattail, the spikes,
spin curls and finger waves, the swing, the spunky funk.
Still crazy side ponies and messy buns. O hair of the famous:
the Rachel, the Farrah, the Dorothy Hamill wedge.

O hair of speculation, I give you permission to fade.
O happiness of hair, wispy browns and grays.
O ghostly hair and mystery, I love the way you've grown.
Given this silver halo, this moonlit me, the longing to be known.

A Theory of Lipstick: Main Street Rag Publishing Co: 2013  

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