Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Friday, November 22, 2013

When I was ten . . .

When I was ten,
I cut my hair with blunt scissors.
I wanted to be a boy
who traveled the ocean,
chased wild deer,
rescued princesses.
When I was twenty, I left
my sisters behind, pulled my hair back,
a constant distraction
to books, lectures, and papers,
a specific progression.
When I was thirty and forty,
I worked and bore my babies.
Someday, I said.
When I am sixty, I shall dye my hair red
and sing like a mermaid.
When I am seventy, I will mourn
my children grown, my lost sisters.
I will gather my bones and dance.

A Facebook friend is thinking about dyeing her hair red and posted a picture to show off her possible new color. Setting aside all else, thoughts about the masks we assume with makeup and hair dye, and our own sense about what makes a woman beautiful at any age, this poem came. And then on Flickr, I found this image, red hair -- wild and free.

Untitled by Marianne Williams (Flickr)


  1. Anonymous10:32 AM

    Love it

  2. I enjoyed the sense of the mythical person in the skin of the real world. A really nice poem.