HER DAUGHTER'S HAIR - jackie davis martin

Her hair, its thickness, the way it tumbled in curls, is an absence so great I catch my breath weary of hearing about the many ways of grief when what is impossible is seeing the hair golden brown, often swept high, often pulled in strands from her face with a high barrette, the curls at the ends falling to her shoulders or slightly below her neck, but always the bangs, and her so fussy with them she’d make an appointment just to have them trimmed, and now I look only at my hair, the graying, the dye not right, drying out, nothing like hers. One time at the grief group her hair seemed to swirl in my head, filling my head crazily like stuff we used to call angel hair on Christmas trees or filigree of brown and gold, filling my head and then disappearing and all I had was the memory, or illusion of memory, when that’s all I have here, here, staring at her pictures, of her with her hair, with the curls falling, pulled back, and I don’t know how to go on but I keep going on without her hair without her.

Jackie Davis Martin
The Progress of Love
Alice Munro