Her Clandestine Hair

My mother’s hair rolled down
her back in thick waves
that I glimpsed early in the morning
as she brushed it out. She was
quick to imprison it,
twisting it into a bun
with a double dozen hairpins.
Always she wore it up,
captured, tamed and hidden.
It was a secret, all this hair.
No one outside our house would
have guessed at this amplitude,
this splendor that seemed no
bigger than a fist when the
ritual of pinning up was done.

Karen Loeb.jpg

Karen Loeb’s fiction and poetry have appeared in Hanging Loose, New Ohio Review, Fiction Southeast and other magazines. Her poem “In the Science Museum” won the 2016 Wisconsin People and Ideas contest. She is co-editor of the WFOP 2020 poetry calendar and is Eau Claire’s current Writer in Residence.