Nana’s Hair




Her heavy thick plaits were destined

to be dipped into inkwells by boys.

She turned sixteen, was determined

to cut it short. Her father, devastated,

didn’t talk to her for weeks.

Free and light, she kept the plait

woven into a comb.


The first time I came across it

was a surprise. Like finding

a living creature. I knew

it was hers by its colour.

Heirlooms cluster in our house.

Open any drawer, you might find

a box containing my great grandmother’s hat,

a plait of auburn hair.


When I checked today the plait

wasn’t there. Hibernating

as though imagined.


I suppose something so free

likes to keep moving.





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