My mother was a hair dresser // my father was an urn

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I was a child and I’d sit there, on the floor
of the salon, to watch my mothers hands, gaunt and the

color of coffee we drink in the morning,
weave between wisps of stranger’s hair.

Before the snips would fall down to the ground,
ephemeral fragments of old stories, pasts.

Matching the stains of the brittle, stale leaves along the
doormat outside, under our window displays during

September.
Afternoon spent listening to gossip from the neighbor

customers, who cheated on who and what the pastor’s
daughter was caught doing last night,

I played with jacks and dressing pins to the noise of scissors gliding, while mother hummed and nodded,

going along with it.
Everything was good, everything was dandy.

Home was quiet with just two, our evenings were silent naps and meals of a very small family. Father,

Husband,
kept in a small vase on the way top of the living room

bookshelf. So it was just the hairdresser and her daughter- “those poor things”- living week-to-week in the

slums of a soot city.
And that was how we liked it.

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