Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31: Poem Full of Hope, Surrender and Trust, "Braiding My Daughter's Hair"

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I was looking for an appropriate poem for New Year's Eve.  It had to be a poem full of hope.  I came up with the poem below.

When my daughter was very young, I used to braid her hair.  After her bath, she would kneel in front of me, and I would go to work.  I loved those few minutes of complete and total surrender and trust that my daughter gave me.  It was one of my favorite daily rituals.

So, I couldn't think of a better way to end this year then looking back, meditating, praying. 

Happy New Year's Eve to all my faithful disciples.

Braiding My Daughter's Hair

by:  Martin Achatz

She lies on her back,
hair floating around
her head like kelp
in the Pacific,
sea otters diving
in and out
of the brown waves.
She hears water
swimming in her ears,
along her five-year-old
limbs, skin smooth
as fresh snow,
feet and hands perfect,
nails like pink snail shells.
When I wrap her
in the towel,
she puts her cheek
against my shoulder.
Her wet heat soaks
through my tee shirt,
into my skin.
I feel her breath
on my neck,
like August rain.
I rub her dry,
squeeze her hair
in the terry cloth folds.
Her just-clean body
squeaks against my fingertips.
I dress her.
She grips my head
for balance as she steps
into her panties,
raises her arms
as I slip the nightgown
over her head,
watch her boy
chest and hips
disappear beneath flannel.
She sits in my lap.
I pick up the brush,
test for knots and nests.
The teeth of the brush
glide and stop,
pick and untangle.
I repeat the motions,
gather a thick rope
of hair at the back
of her skull.
I slip the pink tie
over the hair,
to the base,
pull it tight,
the way a sailor
secures a rope
on a dock.
I divide the hair
into three strands,
begin to braid,
looping, crossing, pulling,
looping, crossing, pulling,
this eternal rhythm
of the planets
circling the sun,
the moon dragging
ocean to rock and sand,
a farmer sowing
seed in black earth,
my daughter stretching,
growing like winter wheat.

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