Poetry Grrrl

'Listen' has the exact same letters as 'Silent'. Coincidence?

Washing My Hair by Anne Stevenson

on June 22, 2014



woman washing hair with sulfate free shampoo 375x500 Washing My Hair  by Anne Stevenson

Washing My Hair by Anne Stevenson
Contending against a restless shower-head,
I lather my own.
The hot tap, without a mind, decides
to scald me;
The cold, without a will, would rather
freeze me.
Turning them to suit me is an act of flesh
I know as mine.
Here I am: scalp, neck, back, breasts,
armpits, spine,
Parts I've long been part of, never
treasured much,
Since I absorb them not by touch, more
because of touch.
It's my mind, with its hoard of horribles,
that's me.
Or is it really? I fantasise it bodiless,
set free:
No bones, no skin, no hair, no nerves,
just memory,
Untouchable, unwashable, and not, I guess,
my own.
Still, none will know me better when I'm
words on stone
Than I, these creased familiar hands
and clumsy feet.
My soul, how will I recognise you
if we meet?

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