His Mother's Hair

The last time he cut his mother’s hair
     the rude morning sun
left no corner of her kitchen private,
     the light surgically clean
where it fell on his scissors.
     Her hair fell in a blonde circle
on the lake blue tile—smell of coffee
     and cinnamon; her laughing
shook her head, Hold still, he said,
     his hands surfeit with the curl
and softness of her hair.
     Three weeks after her death,
a stranger entered the salon
     and settled in the chair.
She had the color and shape
     of his mother’s hair,
and when he sunk his hands in it,
     the texture, even cowlicks,
individual as freckles—same.
     Twice he had to leave the room,
and twice, he returned—still,
     when he touched her hair, it blurred.
Hold still, he said, hold still.

April Ossmann, "His Mother’s Hair" from Event Boundaries.  Copyright © 2017 by April Ossmann.  Reprinted by permission of Four Way Books, www.fourwaybooks.com.
Source: Event Boundaries (Four Way Books, 2017)
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