Apr/May 2003 Poetry Special Feature

On Encountering My First Grey Hair

by Kathryn Koromilas


On Encountering My First Grey Hair

I brushed my first grey today.
Styling to the left, the metallic
streak, not like hair at all, flawed
my clean part. The brown sucked out
of a strand. Washout birthday.

I'd always resisted the lure of beauty
and youth, youth and beauty—
if my Kahlo brows framed me heavy,
then that would be my truth. And if
the furry bits above my lips, caught
the sunlight, I still would not whip them off.

The clerk at the King Street Pharmacy
pulled me over to the boxes of colour
as if we would soon tell all our secrets.
Add or remove? Bleach or dye?

Rapid denouement:
the possibilities of Chrome Red
suddenly made me happy.


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