Down the drain

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.

“Please. Tomorrow.

Pretty please.”

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

Sunday nights.

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,

you realize

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?

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Published in: on March 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm  Comments (5)  

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Your writing brought back memories of soap in my eyes as a child. I’m not sure they have the Johnson’s No More Tears shampoo when I was a child. If they did, my mom chose not to use it. lol Reading you post brought a smile to my face, because my slice today was about memories (or lack of) of my childhood. 🙂

  2. The washcloth trick classic. Some of my best thinking is in the shower!

  3. ALL kids go through the stage with Mom pouring soapy water in their eyes! Why do we do that? Why don’t we learn? Well, we don’t remember it being that big of a deal, do we? Yet, you wrote about it here on SOLSC. Cute story, and tell your kids, “It will be ok. You can do it to your children someday.” LOL

  4. Like “Delighted,” your poem brings back so many childhood memories. My mom used to wash our hair in the kitchen sink. And the soap would always run down our foreheads and into our eyes. Like you, I hated it and would beg for mercy. I was really glad when I got old enough to do it in the shower myself.

  5. I remember those days! I’m so thankful my mom discovered a spray in detangler that seemed to help prevent catastrophes.


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