Women, we are tortured by our hair.
It is never what we want.
It never obeys our desires.
A mischievous heathen,
it laughs at our attempts
to bend it to our will.
We grow it, cut it, dye it,
curl it, straighten it,
treat it with carcinogenic chemicals
to beat the mischief making
blasphemer into submission.
All the while, it laughs at us
as our enemies, humidity and wind,
destroy in seconds the cooperation
we thought we’d earned
with our torturous machinations.
And the color—
and too-too much of everything—
Never exactly as it should be.
It will not follow our will.
Pull it into a ponytail.
Shove it under a baseball cap or a sun hat.
Why don’t we just shave our heads
And let it be done?
This woman’s crowning glory,
a temptation enough to make angels fall
from the heights of heaven at the sight it,
necessitates head coverings and wigs for women,
according to some.
After all, who wants it to rain angels
into the streets of the world?
That’s a sight I wouldn’t mind seeing
since I’ve got questions for those angels.
For one, why do women have to help angels
control such lusty impulses?
But I digress as I begin my morning battle
with my own head of hair.
An early morning, dogs walked,
Time to sit. Read the news.
Enjoy a cup of coffee and listen to the birds sing.
A twenty-two year old woman falls into a coma,
dying later at the hospital.
The police say she suffered a heart attack,
claiming their goal was educational only—
to teach her the proper way to wear hijab.
Now in Iran, women
bravely cut their hair and burn their hijabs
in protest of Mahsa Amini’s death.
I listen to the songs of cardinals
as they come to peck at the seeds from feeders
swinging from tall shepard hooks in my neighbor’s yard.
My hands shake as I lift my coffee cup to my lips.
No power. My hands hold no power. My body holds no power.
No power to help the women of Iran. No power to protect them
from the brutality of the “Morality Police.”
I can not help but think of my own daughter of twenty three,
only a year older, just a year.
A moment of gratitude for her life,
For a moment, a sense of relief
that here in the U.S we have no “Morality Police”
Or “sharia” law— for my daughter’s sake….
But the moment of relief drifts away
on the song the cardinals sing—
We live in the state of Texas,
Which now holds dominion over her body.
My hands shake
Powerless at the moment
Only at the moment.
Power rises as does anger.
The state, the nation, the world counted on fear to make us powerless.
Yet now, injustices kindle the flame of power within us
And nothing can stand against us once we unite.
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