The hands of my mother
have sinned. Pulling my hair
taut and slick into a perfect,
smooth updo, she plucks
four strands for herself. As
if I wouldn’t notice part of me
missing. As if I don’t know what
she does in the closet
while I’m asleep.
Making more of me. Trying to get it
right this time. Does she not think
me beautiful? Must she always
dwell on imperfection? In my dreams,
I hear my sisters calling, voices
that sound like mine
coming from the woods behind
our home. Does Mother not know
I put them there? That I, too, busy my hands–
long, skinny fingers just like hers–
while she sleeps? My sisters call–they’re calling–
their voices tender. Mother’s grows
harsher with each hair she plucks.
If I am to keep my crown
of beauty, I must still her hands.
I must not be replaced. Yes, I will still her hands.
And the light will break through
the mist as my sisters, broken
but like me, can come home.