Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Indecently Blonde . . .

Blame the Romans. Cowed 
by Celtic women's indecent strength, 
their innards curled to ice; they required
prostitutes to wear blonde wigs 
near two millenia ago. 
Roman women rejoiced
when the Celts were ousted;
insults ended imitation.

Yet we women still color our hair.
In my twenties, I favored Hollywood blonde,
like my Swedish mother,  
and applied for work at a bank. 
The men swarmed out of their offices
on invented errands; I was hired
and then ignored as ash blonde
tangled with illicit brown roots.
Now I would not change a single
gray hair; I've earned them all.

Marion Henry (1941)
My mother, a Hollywood starlet

Today's poetry prompt (Day 10 and the letter "I") came from a visit to 2nd Look Books here in Spokane. Michael showed me a page from Terry Jones' Barbarians which retold how the Romans admired and feared Celtic, Germanic and Viking women for their strength, their fearsome pale beauty, and their furious tempers. Luckily I inherited none of these traits, but I was intrigued by what causes women particularly to assume a mask of protective coloring, something I once did. 

To celebrate National Poetry Month, read what others have written:
NaPoWriMo at
A-Z Challenge at
A Round of Words in 80 Days at