When My Prodigal Hair Returned

I did not choose the part in my hair. It chose me.

After the Paclitaxel Pac-Men were done eating

my hair follicles and my hair started to creep

out from its subterranean depths, still too short

for a comb to do any meaningful work, the part

simply showed up where it had always been,

as if no time had passed, as if it had only

been waiting off stage to play its part, the part,

parting the little shoots of hair like Moses reaching

his hand over the reedy sea and calling up a wind

to cleave the waves of silvery hairs, my pale scalp

a bridge between my forehead and the crown,

which makes perfect sense since the cowlick

swirling above my left eye is king and would naturally

be linked to a crown. To part my hair on the other side

would be madness. The king would never allow it anyway.

Folks are prone to tell tales of hair that’s changed ways,

straight gone curly, course gone fuzzy. But no one

ever speaks of the part and whether it, too, might’ve had

a change of heart. Mine, in case I haven’t made it clear,

has stayed true, despite, for so long, the lack of anything

to divide          until this recent turn of tide.

Yvonne Zipter is the author of the poetry collections Kissing the Long Face of the GreyhoundThe Patience of Metal,and Like Some Bookie God and the nonfiction books Diamonds Are a Dyke’s Best Friend and Ransacking the Closet. Her Russian historical novel, Infraction, will be published June 1, 2021.

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