Hair (Sisters) – Poem by Carrie Magness Radna

Poetry by Carrie Magness Radna

She used to sit on her hair between trimmings.

Moonbeams are now captured in her Brundilocks hair
(where sunlight used to stay for free)

Her younger sister,
once blessed with a fiery mane,
her hair is now red and asymmetrically short.

She braided her elder sister’s hair 
in two tight French plaits, 
as if they were kids again.

The sisters talked
about sickness and shaky finances:
“I will die with debt,”
the younger one stated plainly
as she twisted hair.

The elder said nothing,
trying to blot out 
any remote possibility 
of the cancer coming back
in her sister’s skin:
she couldn’t imagine 
life without her—

The braids were tight and beautiful.

The younger sister paused to curl
her hair with a curling iron.
“It’s never a crime to treat oneself,
especially with our hair…”

About the Poet

Carrie Magness Radna is an audiovisual cataloger at New York Public Library, a choral singer and a poet who loves traveling. Her poems have appeared in Mediterranean Poetry, Shot Glass Journal,and First Literary Review-East. Her latest chapbook is Remembering you as I go walking (Boxwood Star Press). Born in Norman, Oklahoma, she lives with her husband in Manhattan.

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