Dedicated to all women who have lost their hair fighting cancer and other illness.  It’s a hard thing to endure, as we tend to look at ourselves in the mirror with a certain defining viewpoint…


Panic set in when radiation exacted its toll
Nauseous moments, endless drives to the hospital
All this she could endure; her faith was strong

But she called me in the dead of night
pleading, “Come downstairs, I can’t find my scissors!”
Was she going to hurt herself? End it after all?

Padding down back steps in PJs and slippers
I found her weeping on a kitchen chair
surrounded by long strands of hair, a nest of fallen beauty

“Quick! Braid what’s left and cut it off!”
Tea-rstained plea of a women for whom
her waist-length tresses were a source of pride

Gently weaving, endeavoring to leave undisturbed
the bounty still holding fast to roots,
carefully rubber banding both ends.

“Are you sure you want me to cut it?”
She grabbed my scissors, handed them off
like a scalpel: handle first

“They’ve poisoned and burned me.
If all I have left is this, it’s enough.”

Twenty years of lovingly tended hair
lay in her hands in a braid. She cried, mourning,
“And he never even noticed, I kept it long for him…”