My Mom said my hair wasn’t right
for ponytails or pigtails. You’re not a normal girl.
A barber’ll know what to do with this mop, she said. I believed that
my mom could make me pretty. She could help me find a way to

look whiter with a barber’s help. I hated my hair and classmates
called it an Afro. I’m her white mother. This damn girl can’t
take care of her hair. Barbers said she needed to,
let me grow my hair out. She said no.
Pinched her thumb tip with pointer fingertip

to show the barber how short. I want it taken down
close to this girl’s head. Clippers buzzed, sheared hair like wool.
I closed my eyes so I couldn’t see all the curls falling.


Photo by Matt Bero on Unsplash

Donna Weaver

Donna Weaver’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from the American Journal of Poetry, Aji Magazine, Solstice Literary Magazine, Drunkenboat, Colere, Poetry Motel, Lit Noire Publishing, Pavement Saw, The Crucible, Kota Press, Loop Journal, Big Toe Review, Controlled Burn, Pebble Lake Review, Fringe Magazine, GhotiMag, Conte, Whimmperbang Journal and others. She was awarded the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg-Scott Turow Prize for fiction, and accepted to the Cave Canem African American Poet’s Summer Writing Retreat. Donna was nominated for “Best of the Net Poetry” from Sundress Press. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in English Writing. She is the founding editor of Caketrain Press.