dutch braids

today my friend braided my hair 

she quickly put my hair into two beautiful french braids. 

“my mom taught me and i need practice”




i loved the braids but had to take them out to shower

later i asked my mom to rebraid my hair 


something i hadnt asked of her in years 


i asked for french braids 


as she tugged and prodded at my head she could never quite start the braid, watching tutorials and redoing her steps over and over again 


it brought me back to a similar picture 


i sit in the floor while my mom tugs at my hair, putting them in pony tails before i go to sleep 


i would always ask for french braids 


my mom would try and tug and tug at my hair 

getting angry at me when i complained


after a few minutes of trying she would always accept deafeat and say she would practice on my hair later 




she never practiced , she never had the time, she was busy trying g to keep me safe away from my dad 


i go to the bathroom after my mom falls asleep, i unbraid my hair and do it again, too ashamed, to scared  to tell my mom i do t like it 


as i do the same years later i hope that as i unbraid the tight restrictive braids i untie the trauma and shame that was braided into me 


not by my mother but maybe by hers, who never taught her how to braid in the first place 


maybe now that we’re safe i can learn and teach my mother and my daughter 

This poem is about: 
My family


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