Red Gold


Shaving her head with the electric clipper
which she had used to unskillfully hack
most of it to the floor, I mourned the
death of her hair, as I would mourn her
own death months later.

My heart beating like triplets on an over
tightened snare drum I feared nicking her
pale, virgin skin never having seen
the light of day since her birth and
maybe not even then, realizing I didn’t
know if she had been born with hair.

Red gold in the morning sun, her hair
a symbol, a flag of independence,
of uniqueness, standing out in a crowd
saying we’re taking over the world,
one redhead at a time!

The bandana’s she wore, flashing neon
“I have cancer” signs signaled her doom
in easy to read letters like a flagman
on a ship telling you how to act
in her presence, though she didn’t want
you to follow those directions.

Knowing her intimately was a goal since
first meeting and even after her death
I still realize I don’t know if
she had been born with hair.

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