First Haircut

Tangled golden mane
pulled tightly back into a ponytail
slanting my eyes
curling to my tailbone
Sometimes plaited gold weaving left over right over
left over
pride over power over left over right over
Saturday morning
a scramble of nine kids, eggs, toast
and kitchen clutter
Leafed out dinette table
with eleven mismatched chairs
dirty skylight overhead
leaking in late morning light
Two dingy windows over the kitchen sink
ledges lined with jelly jars
growing avocado seeds
rusty SOS pads
and mold
sink piled with an array of chipped dishes
marred stainless.

Saturday mornings
mother didn’t brush my hair
Aunt Marie dropped by
overheard chatter…mother’s endless chores
one more chore…
brushing Chrissie’s hair
Aunt Marie
scissors in hand took me to the basement
I perched upon a high step stool
No memory of the tugging of my hair
the swish of scissors or
the sudden lightness of my head
No tears
No feelings

Only—the tangled mass of my identity
lying on the cold basement floor


First of all, the word “first” sounds funny to my ears and looks funny to my eyes.  Shouldn’t it be spelled furst?

Each one of us has a deep connection to this little word.  Throughout our lives, we have many FIRST experiences.

Begin by making a free association list of first experiences.  i. e., first haircut, first memory, first friend, first teacher, first love, etc.  Have you written about any of these first experiences?  Choose one of these firsts and let yourself dive into the memory that is waiting to be expressed through poetry, prose (or collage or painting) in present time.


3 thoughts on “First

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