Sunday, August 31, 2008

112. My Mother's Hair


I feel in nostalgic mood, particularly as I find I'm 'turning into my Mother'! Does this happen to every woman? In one respect, however, I can never be my Mother. This is a picture of her at the age of two. Look closely and you will see the hair that dominated my life. When my baby daughter was born I didn't count toes and fingers; I looked for my mother's hair! Rebecca's hair is as beautiful as my mother's but inherited from her father's side of the family. It is thick, rich, dark and wavy. And, in between, there's me.

On my Clickpicks Blog you can see a picture of my mother 95 years later!


MY MOTHER'S HAIR

Soft
But disciplined.
Curly
But never frenzied.
Dark
But with a glinting sheen.
Thus was my Mother's hair.

Did it grow too long?
Snip snip with the scissors;
No looking-glass needed.
The coils
Stretched and then refolded on themselves
With perfect precision,
Bouncing a little
As they sprang back.

I inherited my Father's hair.
Of course.
Dull, thin, shapeless,
Dun-colured.

When I grew old enough to care
I realised that life wasn't worth living
Unless one had
My Mother's hair.

So started forty years of
Hair Taming.
Surely Lion Taming
Would have been easier!
It wanted to grow forward;
Punish it!
Force it to grow back!

The Permanent Wave never really existed;
It should have been called the Temporary Frizz.
It held sway for forty years.

Instruments of torture
Invaded my life.
In the chair
Noxious substances
Careered down my neck,
Stifling smells
Choked me.

And the result?
A brittle halo of wire-wool!
Dye it dark.
My Mother's hair was dark.
Touch it.
All wrong!
Surely this belonged to a doll!
And I was never doll-like.

The hair did nothing for the face.
Which was a shame
As it could have done with some help!

More instruments of torture!
Clamping teeth made of cruel metal
Gripping non-existent waves.
Fat slug-like pipe-cleaner 'thingies'
(Pipe-cleaners?)
With vicious spiky ends.
Oblong buckle-shaped hinged items
That held tight to strands of hair
Soaked in
Setting Lotion!

Twisting and turning in bed.
Metal cutting the ear-lobe!
Lump indenting the pillow!
Poor benighted husband
Sleeping with a porcupiny freak!
It must have been love!

Maybe tomorrow I would wake up
With my Mother's hair.

She never worried if the weather turned damp;
Her curls just became more girlishly wayward.
(Her daughter wore a plastic bonnet!)
She never cared if the wind blew her hair awry.
She just ran her fingers through it
And smiled.
(Her daughter, like the Queen, favoured a head-scarf!)

One day I realised I was growing old.
My face still needed help
But so did everyone elses'.
Comfort suddenly became more desirable
Than my Mother's hair.

Now I touch the flat, silky little cap
That is my hair
And I rejoice,
Because it is like a little brown bird's wing.

I have broken free

From my Mother's hair.

17 comments:

One Woman's Journey said...

First, thank you so much for the poem you dedicated to Miss Robbye.
How very kind of you. You have brought tears to my eyes this early morning and I know she is smiling at us.
I am happy I found your post.
You have a talent I do not possess.
Have a great day.
This poem about your mother is great.

Dogwalkmusings said...

Thanks for sharing the photo of your Mother. What a lovely lady. I lost my Mom at 95. Seven years ago and it seems like yesterday. Your poem reminded be of her beautiful hair. It was a deep auburn as was my Dad's. I still have her braids. I will never break free of them for it is the one thing I have that reminds me so much of her life!

Anonymous said...

I well remember your mother, Brenda, usually on *Rememeberance Day, Nov 11, always a spritely woman who would brave a cold and windy seafront in Margate carrying her poppy tray - one could not refuse her! (*Armistice Day, starting in 1919 commemorating the end of WW1 hostilities). Of course, nowadays, most Brits wear the distinctive red poppy in their lapels on that day, particularly noted on tv programs coming from the UK.

Rinkly Rimes said...

Dear Anonymous,

Memories are odd things! I have absolutely no remembrance of my Mother selling poppies!! I'm sure she'd like to be remembered as braving the elements for a Good Cause!

Kat said...

Apart from your admiration, it was nice to read Anonymous' admiration of your Mom.

Perhaps someday Rebecca would write a blog.... " My Mother's Poems ?" :))))))

Was tickled reading...

Surely Lion Taming
Would have been easier!

Sleeping with a porcupiny freak!
It must have been love!

(Her daughter wore a plastic bonnet!)

(Her daughter, like the Queen, favoured a head-scarf!)

You make one's day.

shraddha/april@theselfloveproject said...

so touching and sweet.

lovely photo.

thanks for sharing.

shraddha

keeyit said...

Happy mother's day.
Touching~

Mar said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother and beautiful poem.

Happy Mother's Day to you!! My PH.

Manang Kim said...

I think you are not alone. When I look at parts of my body, I could tell I becoming like my mother too ^_^ Oh well I love her so dearly I don't mind at all. Happy Mother's Day and happy weekend!

ewok1993 said...

I guess we all turn into our mothers. Have a wonderful Mother's Day celebration.

Annie said...

Wonderful image and poem! Happy Mother's Day.

Ladykli said...

What a lovely poem! We women are never satisfied with our hair. If it's straight we get it permed to be curly. If it's curly we use flat irons to straighten.

I played too!

gengen said...

Such a cute poem...happy PH and mother's day too.

marites said...

that really is a nice poem. i like curly hairs more than straight hairs. your mom's quite cute in that photo. happy mother's day!

Ann said...

What a tribute to your mum. You are blessed to have your mum living such a long life. Would be grow to be like our mums? I don't think so. I think we take the positives ones. Though my aunts sometimes tell me I am just like my mum in mannerisim.

Hootin' Anni said...

This is amazing!!!

Here is my collage for the theme...my mom, me and my daughter. HERE

Happy Mother's Day.

Scott said...

Great post in honor of Mothers and of course the perfect take on the theme.