Un-braiding

by Chloe Batten

Enclosed for the winter. hibernation.

each strand runs through softly calloused hands,

firm, reassuring fingers whisper sweet nothings

to my newborn roots, like

warm honey. Chloe, Un-braiding image

enfolding strand

over strand, one leads, one hides,

one follows, one leads

one hides, one follows

all clinging to each other for dear life,

sworn to protect the hair they hold,

to incubate the soul that lies within

my newborn roots.

hibernation.

 

Don’t mistake synthetics

for dormancy. like a cocoon they hide

growth and beauty,

and they too will die.

but as spring melts winter’s spite

and warmer air beckons hair

outside the neat twists and folds,

I follow nature’s cue.

in cathartic ritual,

un-braiding plait

after plait,

old dead hair is laid aside.

my fingers run through soft curls,

and linger.

 

This is home.

the feeling after a deep sigh

when lungs resettle.

feels like warmth and peace

and honey. this is my soul.

like Aunty Solange reminds me,

my hair

it is the rhythm,

the feelings,

I wear.