Wisps of blond thin hair fall away,
Coat the shower, the table, her bed.
Her calves were thicker than my thighs,
Sculpted from years and years of biking and running.
Have they stopped? Will she stop?
Become a wisp like the dead hair?
She ventured every day to run,
By the bums, their pitbulls
And hunger for cocaine,
By the poor, decrepit, Chinese fishermen,
Ceaselessly looking for the best discount there is
In the dark green river.
An emblem to keep on chugging,
In her nerdy boxy New Balances
Now, she cries in the morning and night
Her calves rid of the spunk and power,
No more sheepish grins translated
To salads to keep those kids healthy,
No more attacks of footsteps
On the pot-hole filled park,
The calves do not tense and resound with strength
Like a closed fist coming in for the uppercut
Like they used to,
Who can blame her?
Chemicals coarse through her,
Sucking and eating away, leeches,
But does she know there are people who live for her,
Love her, need her,
Does that not shock her back to us?
Dad loves, I love
We balance, like kids holding down a see-saw,
Riding the other end, jumping down to beat
Realize our love again,
And you will live.
You will run.
Run and run and run,
Liquids will drip from you,
Seep out, love making
You better, seething energy
To those calves, to that big bald head.
Once again, Dad will be the one
With the widow’s peak and sparse thin hair.
He will complain like a toddler,
I will cry, overloaded from grief of nothing.
Smile and shine.
Thick, mascara lines to cover up
Awkwardly short eye lashes.
Skinny tight jeans to show
That “hourglass” figure.
Light silky scarf to hide
Hickies from late Saturday nights.
Black faux fur coat to make
You feel wealthy and yet
You’re on the gum covered R train.
Eyes glance, perusing the usual suspects,
Old man with a lint covered scarf,
Chinese woman with a cart full of bottles,
A giggling young gay couple. ,
The young man straight across,
Furiously writing, hammering out thoughts,
Do you wonder
What that pen which races
Back and forth and back and forth
Holds. The secrets it possesses which it
Tells right back to the young man?
Do you really want to know
That it speaks of your clothing and eyes,
That it is digging a deeper and deeper hole
Straight into you, your soul, just through
Your showy garb?
It says your lips turn down
Because you try to impress with tight pants
And globs of gooey makeup
Force your eyes shut
Drooping eyelids underlined by a frown.
The pen can’t know if you are honestly sad
Or where you will go next or where you have come from
But the pen is free to run wild,
Darting in out of reality and dreams,
Improvising and telling the lady with the droopy eyelids,
Try it, try to run wild and dream.
How To Love A Bald Woman
I never thought I’d know a bald woman.
I never thought about
what a woman’s scalp looks like.
How would she look
without bleached blonde hair.
Would her eyes still shine
I came to know
a bald woman.
One, who ceased to care about vanity,
put an end to non stop combing and fixing
because there was
besides a big bald peak.
I came to know that
without locks of gold,
she still smiled and said
“I love you” and hugged as she did before.
People would pass us,
turn away, look down, ashamed,
she merely stayed her path.
I saw a beacon
of pride in her peak
of strength in her heart.
I came to love this woman.
Her riddance of combs,
and her slightly dented scalp.
I came to love long strong hugs
from a beautiful bald woman.
Age 16, Grade 11
Hunter College High School