j in snow with glare
Mangy Mane
by Joanie HF Zosike

She’s been through a lot, this mop
Once shiny golden ringlet-eyed
Then longer, weighty and stretched
Rippling into Jewish hippy hair

My she-mop was my pride, though
Strands fell to puddle as torn shreds
Chemical damaged and speaking of
Years like rings around trees, tresses

Stresses of misuse and disease
Mis-ease, a disgrace! All matted
Rumpled with grey, a rasta pasta
As russet flickers, then fades away

Only to revivify on film or in the
Processing kiln; make me young
Plait me with product, sweeten my
Rumination of tender brushstrokes

Foolsgold melts into sun showers
Pray, return me those my ringlets
Trinkets, my thing-lets that fly by
So wiry a mangy head of sultry hair

PHOTO: The author in Esopus (Upstate New York), c.2014. (Photo by Stephanie JT Russell.)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Writing this poem was much harder than I thought. I have strong feelings about my weakening hair. Always my crowning glory, it ain’t what it used ta be. But then again, what is? I must have started this poem several times but it always seemed labored until tonight it came pouring out. Little red strands left daily in my hairbrush will attest to the fact that this is a labor of love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanie HF Zosike (aka Joanie Hieger Fritz Zosike), a frequent contributor to Silver Birch Anthologies (Summer Anthology, Noir, The Great Gatsby, Alice in Wonderland, Ides), has poems featured in upcoming issues of Maintenant #10 (NY, Three Rooms Press) and Bastille #3 (Paris, SpokenWord). She’s working on a fantasy novel and a verse novel, and is directing a street theatre spectacle, Hot Air, about the environmental crisis, with members of The Living Theatre in Spring-Fall 2016.