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.