Chemotherapy’s Coiffure By Alexis Calhoun

Chemotherapy’s Coiffure

Detangling spray, a comb, my hair
reminding me of months ago.
I run my hand through mended strands,
if only not before’s length. Time 
is necessary, loss has grown 
from crying into sighing now,

but vivid memories, like now,
sometimes invade with thoughts of hair,
how silky strands would mat the growth—
waist-length—in falling clumps of go
-ing beauty. I’d be talking, time
would tic-tic, die, like fading strands,

look down to see a lap of strands.
Then—I decided—cut it, now,
before I saw beloved locks time
out, murmur, “bye”: I bobbed my hair.
It hugged my jaw. It wouldn’t go, 
it stayed, little strong locks that grew:

the clinging locks would weakly groan
that they refused to lose. The strands,
behind a wig, waited until go
-ing paved for new hairs, then and now.
A head of chemo-curled short hair
embraced my scalp in rosettes. Time

I still have: my remaining time  
reveals another inch of growth,
almost restoring the lost hair 
with curls to shoulders, spiraled strands.
I smile remembering them, now,
their dancing, tip-n-tapping, goes—

indents—into my heart. They’ve gone:
the curls diminished with some time,
but live as perseverance now,
and can’t, won’t, doesn’t break in growth
which never stops progressing. Strands
have grown beyond this hair—

the tears and smiles I’d forgo, grow
-ing, fading time between the strands—
awaiting now: I brush my hair.

Alexis Calhoun is a student at Arkansas Tech University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She writes to provide a new perspective and vitality to experiences in everyday life, as she contemplates the struggles and victories that encompass the lives of individuals.

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