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

Self Portrait at Fifty Seven

Self Portrait at Fifty Seven

scarred and calloused the deep etchings
of life lived and the hard
changes made
decisions of truth over lies
and gray over dyes
kindness fought hard to win over selfish pride
longing given way
to understanding and forgiveness
both for faults well earned and others too
the needs and wants
before collided
now turn to best before good
knowledge hard fought for
and occasionally won
the days swiftly move toward the ultimate end
when the choosing of the now the moment the here
gains the upper hand
and I will go into the dark night
the better for it