For Mother’s Day

which is also the last day of International Women’s Week, which is kinda pointless but ho hum. Is there an International Men’s Week? No? No surprise there. Anyway, this is for my mum and for our eternal struggle with our…


Never knew my mum had curly hair,
she never knew that I had too,
each morning brushing my thick mass
‘such a lot of hair’ tangled mess
into one high proud horsetail ponytail,
pinned down, fat and round,
kirby grips tractored firm,
while I ouched and aahed
as each tug pulled my scalp
topped by Elnett’s smog
of eye stinging, nose pinching,
perfume fizz that set it hard as rock.

I didn’t know my mum dyed her hair,
but she knew I did too as
teenage kicks kicked in from
wash-in auburn, washed out black,
plum purple, scarlet streaks,
(with the occasional hint of blue)
razor nicked smooth above (just) one ear,
crimped page boy, odd plaits,
hard as rock Mohican high,
mullet mediocre fluffed up big time –
Dynasty style show time –
while her Sophia curls sighed free.

Mum didn’t know I had ringlets,
but I knew she had too, once,
when her mother would weave
her hair with rags, pulled twisted
buckled and teaselled with
wire head combs, fingernail slips,
her whorled locks mocked by
the playground’s grubby mitt boys,
envious mother’s bemoaning their
lanky haired, straight parted kids
where the only apparent benefit was
the ease of spying their persistent nit.

Mum knows my hair now,
and I know hers too,
our brushes binned,
our combs consigned,
grey plucked, sighed over,
today’s shade chosen,
the shape kindly one day,
vicious frizzing the next,
while my daughters
steam, iron, spray, iron, pull, iron and gel
iron, to hide their teasing,
just-around-the-corner waiting,


3 thoughts on “For Mother’s Day

  1. And this one is classic Kiersty Boon, with its delight in the language, the way the words reflect their meaning in their sound and shape, the use of detail to describe a real relationship. A kind of universality in the particular, deceptively intelligent and clever.

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