Where my crown should rest lies a jumble of stress
A black jungle of curly vines laced with fury
I’m called Medusa when my spirals spring
In summer the thick air contributes to my despair
Other girls panic to and fro
Claiming their straightened strands have become afros
They really don’t know
My voluptuous mane has a mind of its own
Makes me hold my head in shame
The more I brush and gel it to tame
The harder it fights, bringing me pain
And one thing that makes the spirals obey
The hot comb that visits every other day
They fall flat for a while and cut me some slack
Yes finally dead, I think in my head
And of course, the hairs hear
Wake up from their slumber
“Has she been shocked by lightning?” people wonder,
“Guess she didn’t hear the thunder.”
With relaxers, I’ve tried to denature their enzymes
They still come back stronger every time
So I gather my tendrils all in one
Try my best to unite them in a bun
Rapunzel they beg let your hair out
“We can’t breath,” they plead, “We want to be seen,”
But in the social scenes these days
The hair I wear shouldn’t display my true genes
At least that’s what the screen seems to scream
After years of struggling with this passive aggressive oppression
A coup d’etat occurs in my brain
Enlightened thinking, a change of thought
And maybe the perms frying my hair permeated my brain
My ancestors fought for the right to be free
Their rights were held hostage
What’s holding my hair back?
Only me 

Poem by Amanda Gordon
Photo by Bianca Wilson

1 comment

  1. This work is very precious, and I can feel your own voice in the text. Your word choice is rich and your message beautifully clear to the reader. I honestly love it. Text me someday, I feel like you and I could collaborate on something :D my name is Natalia, I would love to hear from you. Snapchat: natyc28