there once was a girl that had a little curl

There was a little girl that had a little curl
right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good, she was very, very good
And when she was bad, she was horrid.
-Nursery rhyme

coarser – its texture somehow thicker yet thinner
straight as the proverbial board most days
unless the deep southern summer humidity
ties it in the memory of brown ringlets

the first time it was licensed –
the girl behind the counter
changed the designation
(no longer chestnut brown
with gay auburn highlights,
luscious chocolate velvet
deep and soulful)
saying “I call ‘em like I see’ em.”

the end of that identity

clouds of tarnished silver linings
pewter and iron, steeled locks
brushed nickel
and mercury dimes
in the fogged, foxed mirror

she was once very, very good
and happily horrid
when the occasion merited
and still can conjure up a curl or two
when the mood suits her