Follicles

By Grace Wakefield

Every golden morning
I view the black strands
Cascading down my arms

Each individual strand
Coarser than the last
Refusing to be unseen

Shave them

Each time I soak in heat
Their sporadic layout
Turns into something uniform

They become one.
A mass of femininity
Pouring down my limbs

Wax them

Sticks and stones
May break my bones
But my hair won’t hurt me

It’s a protective layer
Covering my skin and
Confirming my identity

Pluck them

The strands travel up
My hands and
My fingers

But the strands translate
Into a biological map
A map of womanhood

I refuse to
Shave them
Wax them
Or pluck them

Hair makes me a woman.
What is a woman?

Illustration by

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