Saturday, March 13


While the long grain is softening
in the water, gurgling
over a low stove flame, before
the salted Winter Vegetable is sliced
for breakfast, before the birds,
my mother glides an ivory comb
through her hair, heavy
and black as calligrapher’s ink.

She sits at the foot of the bed.
My father watches, listens for
the music of comb
against hair.

My mother combs,
pulls her hair back
tight, rolls it
around two fingers, pins it
in a bun to the back of her head.
For half a hundred years she has done this.
My father likes to see it like this.
He says it is kempt.

But I know
it is because of the way
my mother’s hair falls
when he pulls the pins out.
Easily, like the curtains
when they untie them in the evening.

by Li-Young Lee

I stole this from my blog friend Loren Webster, whose interests lie in poetry and nature photography. You should check out his photos sometime. Most of them are exquisite; just like this poem.


Shiny Rod said...

I enjoyed this poem immensely. Great choice for introspect. Thanks

Gilly said...

That is beautiful!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

BEAUTIFUL POEM! I will go over there right now and checkmout The Photi's!

Kay Dennison said...

"Exquisite" is the perfect word for this poem.

Arkansas Patti said...

Beautiful and gentle. Kind of explains a mans facination with a woman's hair as the pins are removed. Subject of many a movie.
I'll check him out now. Thanks.

bobbie said...

A very lovely poem. Thank you.

Olga said...

A lovely poem. Thank-you for sharing it. I will check out the other blog.

Pat said...

Lovely and it reminds me of when my younger son said 'Mummy your hair is so swift. It's like a waterfall.'

robin andrea said...

That's so beautiful.