Washing her hair lyrics by Sarah Gorham
She stood over the tub,
her back naked, spine rising
to her scalp like a child’s set of beads.
I lathered her thin, dark hair,
rinsed it, watched it clump in the drain.
Foliage hung in the window,
steam dispersing its vividness like a watercolor.
It wasn’t real. It was theater
the careful way we prepared her bed,
changed her clothes,
the neighbours appearing, Magi
with their bright baskets of cheese.
In the hallway I listened to conversations
with her friends,
themselves a little closer to the end
the religious uncle who clasped his hands with joy
My mother was elated.
Confused, embarrased, I had heard something
not meant for me, and so returned to folding her towels,
The cleansing that said,
You look better today.
This will help.