By Lisa Grande
Days after I snuck my cousin out the front door,
the scissors were removed from the kitchen.
She would need to see a professional, but at least
I cut the bangs "straight enough."
I gained confidence knowing my father would not notice
the beauty shop set up in the center of the living room.
Walking her home, I could not camouflage
the ponytail clenched in my fist. I held it tight, afraid
the pieces still bound together by a rubber band might
spread like seed and fertilize the yard.
All night, I waited for the phone call and when it came,
I hid in the basement. School pictures were a reminder
of the damage I'd done and in grocery stores,
I could not avoid the story being retold to strangers.
That's why tonight, after dinner, after we pulled
the chair to the sink, I hesitated. Standing over your head
with scissors in my hand, I carefully cut each dead end
that landed soft on linoleum below.