Childhood memories are often great subjects for poetry. In the case of my poem “My Grandmother’s Hair,” the subject is obvious.
Two points about the poem may be of interest. First, notice that the poem jumps in and out of blank verse. Second, there is rhyme in the last stanza. When I wrote the rhyme, it felt like a perfect way to close the poem.
My Grandmother’s Hair
During the day she laced it into layers
of delicate lightnings and monochromes
(it took several hours, some would later say),
and tucked it from the world with bobby pins.
It slept above the white sheets of her neck,
feral, nocturnal, and a silver gray. It waited.
Not even the prairie wind could stir
from slumber its kinetic tendrils there.
On weekend nights when she would let it free,
it tumbled down to her toes in silver waves,
waves away from a decade on the sands,
and drowned the time along her hardwood floors.
The years have gone. Her porcelain ring box sits
atop my daughter’s silver dresser drawers.
The bobby pins are stored inside. If I lean close
I feel that ocean crashing into shores.
Note: Poem first published in The Kentucky Review in 2014.