That mono-brow wouldn’t work today.
Girls wax the in-betweens, the ups and
downs, smooth, smooth. Sometimes,
the greenery around the hacienda
itches so much we sneeze and tickle,
create unnecessary frowns, a slippage.
There’s always Dr. Death, of course,
his bright smile, that happy mouth
inviting us to pout and make kiss shapes.
Kiss, kiss! Kiss, kiss! he urges. His short needle
makes cushions of our worries. Little prick here,
another there, there, there,
it’s all right darlings, growing old
needn’t hurt so badly.
The hairs remind us, marching to link brow
to brow, shadowing our lips.
We want to be Frida, earnest with hair,
mocking Dr. Death’s short needle
before it punctures our flesh.
Old, old! we shout the words he hates,
loose and old, not tight and old!
Senses, raging, in need of colour
as we behold ourselves, mirror-wise,
the women we always were,
just older, looser, still there.
by Mary O’Donnell
from The Ark Builders
Arc Publications, Todmorden, 2009