by Jennifer Lagier
A chubby toddler,
I possessed a few golden wisps.
When my 1950s pixie cut grew out,
Mom wove my thin hair
into tight, skinny braids.
By the early 60s, I wore
bleached, feathered highlights
over a ratted beehive
to accompany poodle skirts, fluffy slips.
During the Summer of Love,
I smoked dope, visited Haight Ashbury
clad in Nehru jacket,
flat, ironed locks and leather headband,
paisley bell-bottomed pants.
The 70s brought women’s lib
and a messy divorce.
I flaunted a blonde afro,
went braless beneath skimpy tank tops,
peg-legged tiny jeans.
During late 80s, early 90s,
I traded classic pageboy
for moussed punk spikes,
message tee shirts,
anti-war picket signs.
Now I wrestle faded cowlicks,
pay a professional to paint auburn streaks
through my anemic mane,
resurrect vanished youth.
PHOTO: The author during the Summer of Love, 1969.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My mother and I have fought over my hair for as long as I’ve been alive. For her, it represents my independence, something over which she has no control. When I considered this prompt, I thought about how my hairstyles over the years have symbolized what was going on in my life at the time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 10 books of poetry and in literary magazines and anthologies. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, and is now a retired college librarian/instructor, member of the Italian American Writers Association, co-edits the Homestead Review, and helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Visit her at jlagier.net.
PHOTO: The author at the Bayside Café in Morro Bay, June 2015.