Soap in my eyes,
a sting I haven’t felt in years,
gives way to memories
of my mother coaxing me
to wash my hair
in the bathtub.
After she sculpts my hair with
shampoo into whimsical shapes,
the crying begins.
“No, Mommy. It hurts.”
Just tilt your head back and
close your eyes.
Cover your face with the
washcloth. Then quick as a bunny
we’ll be done.
A bit more pleading before
capitulation. Hair rinsed,
ready to do battle with tangles
and the broken promises of Johnson’s No More Tears,
my mother and I dreaded
As a grown-up I’ve engaged in
the same battle with toddlers.
Singing songs is no palliative for fear.
When you’re too old for the tub,
some pain is fleeting.
That which you can’t anticipate
can rob you of your self for a bit, but most
pain washes away as quickly as the suds
down the drain.
I’m participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. Won’t you join me?