Cut It Here

This is a poem inspired by finally getting my soft, brown hair back years after being frightened into changing my appearance.

“Cut It Here”

Until it’s grown out
so you can order:
“Cut it here”—
it seems not your own,
like dyed and damaged hair.
You can’t see where the lines go,
like a messy ball of yarn.
With just a thread and needle,
it’s impossible to darn.

Maybe, you think,
it’s someone else’s job to do the work
of sensing what can go,
and what is more than just a quirk—
what to snip off in the sink,
and what is essential flow.

You know better.
Now that you can feel
your own, natural softness again,
and see your own, brown down;
now that you can pull it back
into a ballerina bun again at last—
you can tell the story better,
and leave it in the past.