Braiding My Daughter’s Hair

This is what we waited for:
a doll of flesh and blood
to rearrange, recreate, manipulate.

Interweaving silken strands
my palms come alive with memories
performing an ancient ritual.

The head on the other end
is unaware of her story,
thinks it’s just a hairdo.

"The braid" (1887) by Auguste Renoir

“The braid” (1887) by Auguste Renoir (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rhoda, whose hair hung loose
tugs harshly at my scalp
impatient with tangles and knots.

Behind her stands the ghost of Lily
who died too young
to teach the art of braiding.

Bema looms behind the ghost
magnificent silver braids
wound round and round her head.

This is what we waited for:
my fingers fly, over and through,

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