How Do You Like Me Now, by Susan Rooke

Susan Rooke

She took the scissors to the long
gauzy hair that shrouded
her back like a cheesecloth veil
just for spite one night
because they’d fought and
she had to have the satisfaction
of the last word.

She slammed the bathroom door
on the little girl crying in the bedroom
and got out the nail scissors
the ones with the tiny pointed blades
like a needling beak

hacked it down
short like feathers
snick snick
stripped her head so she looked
like a bright-eyed bird

then flushed the brown nest
of it down the toilet
and when he came back
into the room
to tell her he was sorry
saw the hair he loved long
she chirped at him

“How do you like me now?”

Author’s comment: Some childhood memories are vague, shapeless things that swirl briefly to the surface before sinking back into the pond, but some walk beside us formed and clothed completely, always the same each time we think of them. Perhaps the event didn’t happen quite the way we remember, but the memory has such a burning, visionary clarity that it becomes indelible. This is one of my indelible memories.

Bio: Susan Rooke lives in Austin, Texas. Her poetry has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Main Street Rag, U.S. 1 Worksheets, The Christian Science Monitor, Stone Telling and The Orange Room Review, among other publications. She edits the Austin Poetry Society’s monthly MuseLetter, and has just completed her first novel, a fantasy.

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