The Time Had Come

I braided my hair today

after I took it from the box

in which it had lain for

more than forty years after

I insisted on cutting it for

the first time just before

my senior year of high

school because I thought

a senior year required a

sacrifice or change, however

one might choose to think.

That day the scissors opened

wide to slice through the

auburn river that ran constant

down my back every day that I

could remember, and when they

snicked shut, there sat a stranger,

a woman, holding my girlhood

in a limp puddle on her lap.

At school my classmates only

blinked and wondered why,

and I said it seemed like the

time had come, as it did again

today when I opened the box

and braided the hank like I

was standing in front of myself,

then carried it outside, nestled

it in the crook of limb and tree

and left if for the birds.

© Dana Hughes 9.27.14

The Hussy

The ginko round the corner wears a hint of pale gold

high in her branches which means that Fall is coming,

and as is her custom, she’ll change color in the dark

while only the moon dares look, so that Monday she’s

green and Tuesday she’s yellow, then come Friday

she’s bare, not loosening her leaves one by one in

slow studied spirals over months of shortening days,

but all at once she’ll drop them like Kanye’s mic and

stand naked with arms outstretched inviting the stares

and disapproval of oaks and poplars whose surrender

to the season is methodical, predictable, and dull but

seemly, though what they mutter behind her bare back

whenever the wind stirs, about her being brazen and

shameless and unmannered would sting if she cared

to listen, but she doesn’t.


© Dana Hughes