Poem for My Father Disguised as an Ode to Hair (2022)

I admit: the closest thing to glory is hair.
Or perhaps, the lack of it. A cascade
of lush curls; a shining of bald spots;
the glory of graying hair, the thin sickles
like silver tendrils in the light. My father
won’t stop dyeing his hair black. I find it
amusing, his heart, like a pendulum,
set for and against a motion; his hands,
beautiful hands, stained black, racing
against the work of time. The boy
is the father of the man. But boy, dad,
you can’t be young again. You can only
be what you are: my rock. The one word
we don’t say until it’s too late, is love.
I say it now: I love you, father, with all
the abundance of black hair grown
and groomed with God’s austere hands.
My father’s hair is the softest I’ve touched.
And God, I know now, all these years,
the hair You stole from his balding head.
You were weaving me this feathery robe,
this rare gift, which I wear now with pride.

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