Mummy decides to go silver at fifty

by Anushka Shah


and I love how the silver crown of her head 
begins to wax, growing from a sliver to a half-moon, 
as the black dye wanes, I count six silver hairs
on my head now at twenty-one and I would like to know 
when my head will fully glitter. When will I inherit 
the real family silver, once braided, coconut oil heavy 
on my grandmothers’ heads? I do not want 
our old Nissan Altima gleaming like a fat minnow, 
nor the chains on my neck, nor the silver spoons and forks 
oxidizing in the drawers, nor the sequined saris, 
nor the steel pots with the flat-lipped edges for soaking lentils, 
nor the thumb-sized, silver box holding black kajal. 
In the minutes it will take to inherit these things, I want 
my head, like a milkweed pod, to explode into silver floss.

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