Sunday, June 20, 2010

On Parade!


Vintage cars, or cars Historic,
Make my husband feel euphoric!
They don't do a thing for me!
I've no partiality!
But when they're lined-up in the sun,
Sparkling, gleaming every one,
I feel a certain admiration;
They look so smart when in formation!
Sunday in the Park, what joy
For any car-mad man or boy!



But disciplined.
But never frenzied.
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,
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'
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 bird's wing.
I have broken free
From my Mother's hair.


Unknown said...

my mother's hair, very sweet!

Margaret Gosden said...

So glad you are happy with your hair-do now - it suits you very much! As for the cars, I love the look of old cars. Modern cars are so boring to look at!

Stafford Ray said...

Didn't your mother tell you to eat your crusts? Or was that just our family? A life judged against the lack of the curly hair gene. If you have children, one at least would have curly hair and probably hates it. Isn't it scary when they show those vintage cars you bought as new, as if they were archeological finds?