HAIR STORY

Author phoenix, 44

hair story

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When I came into this world
I wrapped around my human like a blanket
wild black curls burst through her momma
‘til they looked like an extension of her femininity
I blared as loudly as that baby’s wail
and felt infinitely connected to her right from jump
as she grew
I did as well
became diamond under the pressure
of hot combs, perms
and so many gels, goos, glitters and sprays
that I thought I’d break under the friction
ever resilient, though
I stood strongly
boldly
made her shine like new money
until she honored me and her scalp
naturally
dreadlocks roping around her shoulders
like antennas to God
I didn’t even mind the red dye
she drenched on me in honor of her late grandmother
I felt ancestral
Holy
Felt the pride when she arched her back
made herself taller
larger than life
a mythical vision in all her glory
Yet, I was the full blown center of attention.
Folks peered with curiosity
how did that hair come out the scalp like that?
All wooly and Christ-like.
OH, How I SHINED on black-skin with my black self.
When sickness befell my owner 
She cried thunderstorms
as I fell in chunks to the ground like old oaks uprooted by hurricanes.
Prayer couldn’t bring back the loss she suffered
Doctors said I’d never latch on the top of her crown again.
It didn’t matter that I still grew gardens at the back of her scalp
We were detached and
Like Sampson,
she felt powerless.
You can’t outdo black folks, though, Honey.
Nah, you can’t.
My human turned those showers of despair
into tears of joy
found a magic woman
a gardener who could plant
a little bit of man-made
amongst the god-made
and bring a healing that would
rebirth an esteem bigger
than our former years of natural glory
even had the fiery auburn color
to make light rise in her eyes again
There we were ascending together
reborn phoenixes
as youthful
and vibrant
as fresh locks
on a newborn.

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