Monday, February 4, 2008

***THE ONE...A HerStory***

It was grey;
the one she was born with.
Not quite a ringlet, coiled so tight that when stretched, it recoiled.

Soon joined by others in its ranks, thousands of them, only black…
all of them not quite ringlets, coiled so tight they recoiled
but too slow not to be flattened under the powerful regime
of metal more than a hundred degrees short of molten
lava flowing down her cheeks
that once was Ultra Sheen.

Shoulders hunched per generations of defense mechanisms born of instinct
passed down through her double helixes escorted by
the impulse to clench buttocks and hold ears while
trying to still the synaptic cleft activity that produces the reflex
that scars little brown girls forever.

Not quite ringlets -- heated, stubborn coils re-coil angrily in the sun
setting the stage for the next phase, the new burn --
caused not by heat but by chemical arguments
that convince coils that coils are better = good if they do not recoil
and she accepts her fate and waits
for the tingle to tell her it is time and that they are no longer bad.

The battle to straighten (make right) the naturally crooked (coils) was fought
before acquaintances were made
before friendships could be established
before loyalties could be forged
before love affairs could flourish
between them and her.

Until one day the grey one;
the one she was born with.
Not quite a ringlet coiled so tight that when stretched, it recoiled…DID NOT.

It was only then --
after the one did not recoil,
after having lost almost 40 years of battles,
that she decided to win the war and let her stretched coils recoil and be BAD = good...again!

© Sharon J. All Rights Reserved 2008

***For the entire HerStory

7 comments:

Sojourner G said...

My friend, what an amazing perspective! How much of ourselves do we LOSE when we allow external factors to determine OUR self image.

Intriguing to be sure...

(and as always, eloquently expressed)

BloggersDelight said...

A fascinating take on hair, Sharon!

Thank you for participating in our first annual Readers' Choice Award.

Mega Rich said...

I dug it, but I guess I was sleeping because I couldn't make the connection. The afro sheen was a dead give-away, but I let it fly right over my head.

CapCity said...

Poor M.Rich - he 'parently nevah had the hair woes of us sistahs;-). I'm LUVING it, Sharon! So on point for those of us who are enjoying God's natural highlights;-). LOL!

Sharon said...

@ Sojourner G: You got it completely. Thank God I've moved beyond being dictated by things such as this! As always, your appreciation is appreciated!

@ BD: The pleasure is mine and this is the first contest of this kind I've ever entered; so the experience in and of itself is worth the price of admission ;)

@ Mega Rich: Like Cap says, it is obvious you have never undergone the trauma of the pressing comb, relaxers, weaves, etc. If you had, I assure you that the very first couple of lines would have told the story well before the lava -- oops! I mean Ultra Sheen ran down cheeks ;)

@ CapCity: You know that I know that you feel my pain my sistah! Thankfully those days are behind me now :)

@ Bloggers' Delight Volume One -- Love and Redemption Contributors:
I GOT MY BOOOOOOOOOOOK!! YIPPEEEE!

nikki said...

LOVE IT!

accurately depicts the love/hate relationship black women have with our hair. :)

BloggersDelight said...

We are completely Delight-ed by your enthusiasm, Sharon! We hope you enjoy reading the book as much as we enjoyed the collaboration.