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Bryanna Sanders

I am Samson once more after having been my own Delilah

But rather than cutting locks graced by God’s own strength

I cut down rows of flat plaits braided by overseers

Who twisted my mind into thinking that what we got ain’t gone grow

That what we got can’t be sowed without watering our scalps with tears and lyes

Dyes, fried my hair til it was crispy straight

My folly in trying to assimilate

Into a culture that’s only partially mine

But trying to find the line between celebration of one and degradation of the other is too hard for

a child to do, so I did as millions of black children before me did and obeyed as we were told by

our mothers only wishing that life for us was made easy by having hair that hung straight.

I went where I was led

Like an ewe led out to be sheared and sold in town

I sat my behind down and allowed my crown to fall neatly as I frowned with the heat of an iron

against cool flesh

Iron same whether clamping down on hair or hands

It’s purpose like

But I am here now

Having cut the crop of curls I tentatively nurtured

In the spirit of starting these years anew

I am ready

I lay down and let my hair rise for me

It don’t grow down honey, it grows straight up and out

Trying to reach everything at once

Bryanna Sanders is a poet, spoken word artist, and writer from Charlotte, NC. She typically explores topics related to love, womanhood, and family legacy and is currently working on her first novel. This is her debut poetry publication.

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