The Healing Improvisation of Hair
If you undo your do you wóuld be strange. Hair has been on my mind. I used to lean in the doorway and watch my stony woman wind the copper through the black, and play with my understanding, show me she cóuld take a cup of river water, and watch it shimmy, watch it change, turn around and become ash bone. Wind in the cottonwoods wakes me to a day so thin its breastbone shows, so paid out it shakes me free of its blue dust. I will arrange that river water, bottom juice. I conjure my head in the stream and ride with the silk feel of it as my woman bathes me, and shaves away the scorn, sponges the grit of solitude from my skin, laves the salt water of self-esteem over my feathering body. How like joy to come upon me in remembering a head of hair and the way water would caress it, and stress beauty in the flair and cut of the only witness to my dance under sorrow's tree. This swift darkness is spring's first hour. I carried my life, like a stone, in a ragged pocket, but I had a true weaving song, a sly way with rhythm, a healing tone.
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From Transfigurations: Collected Poems by Jay Wright. Copyright © 2000 by Jay Wright. Reprinted with the permission of the author. All rights reserved.
Born in 1934, Jay Wright is the author of numerous collections of poetry and he was the recipient of the 1996 Academy of American Poets Fellowship
Date Published: 2000-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/healing-improvisation-hair