On hair

Like the thickest of forests parted only by a sharp axe, these coils spring from my scalp. Deep and dense as the congo basin; my crown is a testament to its African roots.

But it wasn’t always so. Twelve seasons ago, my tree was uprooted in the most abrupt manner.

I’m ashamed, though  I will admit, the deforestation of these indigenous roots came from my black hands. I plucked and smoked these roots until they were no more. And when they finally bloomed again I mutilated them some more. I bathed them in a fertiliser so inorganic that I felt genetically altered, but as my tree became GMO I believed I discovered myself. A Caribbean queen like myself deserved a palm tree with bowing branches.

Thus when my palms descended downwards I felt a laden ease. I knew my branches must have been agitated for now they were relaxed, smooth and fine. They abided with my changing winds, unlike the crop that preceded them. How could I return? Suffer, at the stubborn spikes of a cactus bush.

I pruned it well, this palm tree. Tended to it too frequently, with far too little care. But when these bowing branches began to shed, I was certain of the spring that would follow this fall. Of the rebirth of those fallen leaves – I’d never seen a naked palm tree. Thus they grew, these branches, limply, but still: they grew.

Until they fell again.

Tumbling carelessly.  whence my bountiful basin resembled the Sahara I couldn’t take any more.

So I returned to my prickly cactus, the simple shrub that sustains itself. And though I still long to flatten its pines I am contented. For, these prickles cover my scalp. Deep and dense as they may be.









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