in shoulder-length braid,
woven over and under,
the grey with brown overlaid,
gilded in gold—past, present, future
sharing the same roots.
Back it all goes,
away from my face.
I look in the mirror,
wonder if wisps of spring bloom
still in autumn frost.
What does it matter? Lines traced
forwards and back. Lifelines.
I turn away,
wash my hands. . .again.
Today is the first day of poetry month. NaPoWriMo posts a prompt for each day of the month. I’ve taken part for the past two or three years. I may not post every day. We’ll see. Today’s prompt was: “write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances.”
Wonderful, Merril. A lovely self-portrait. I hope you smiled at yourself 🙂
Aww–thank you. I may have.😏
I sure hope you did. That face of yours deserves a smile!
That was magnificent! Both brilliant and sad that you had to bring the pandemic guidelines into it. Great job!
Thank you very much, Rachel. It’s kind of hard to ignore what’s going on around us right now.
This was wonderful, Merril! Thanks for sharing.
Merril! ❤ This is lovely, and I can just imagine your hair and how lovely it is – and the DON'T TOUCH, it's perfect.
Thank you so much, Shuku! A sign of the times, eh? I hope you and yours are well.
AND–between your comment and Kerfe’s I’ve just remembered how I used to wear my hair in a braid after I gave birth to both my daughters because it was coming out a bit and I was trying to keep it from being grabbed. 😀
braid/twined works really well with “past, present, future”
Braiding hair is very contemplative. I remember the time each day redoing my waist length braid as a time when I would step out of the day. Of course my hair hasn’t been that long for 40 years…
I like the way you connected past and present too. (K)
Thank you, Kerfe. My hair was waist-length at one point, too. I sometimes put my hair in a braid after I wash it, but lately I’ve been wearing it that way more often.
I enjoyed this, Merrill. It reminds me of my grandma braiding my hair when I was little. 😊
Thank you, Charlotte. I’m glad my words made you think of that! 😀
I enjoyed your metaphor, especially “twined together/sharing the same roots” Really nice.
Thank you very much!
A marvellous take on the theme. The different coloured woven strands reminds me of flower stems containing both ageing and budding blooms.
Thank you very much, Derrick. That’s a lovely image you’ve imagined, too.
I was looking for a photo of you with braided hair – pre-Raphaelite perhaps or perhaps not. When you look at this poem years from now, you’ll certainly remember the hand-washing of 2020.
I’ll see if I can find you photo, Marian. Probably nothing recent because I don’t usually go “out” that way. Yes, we will all remember the hand washing.
It is brilliant 🙂 I love how you bring our current crisis in, not dramatically but perfectly understated. An otherwise ordinary ritual of braiding and washing made extraordinary.
Wow–thank you, Marie! 😀
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