To Those Of My Sisters
Who Kept Their Naturals”
— never to look a hot comb in the teeth
by Gwendolyn Brooks
I love you.
Because you love you.
Because you are erect.
Because you are also bent.
In season, stern, kind.
Crisp, soft-in season.
And you withhold.
And you extend.
And you Step out.
And you go back.
And you extend again.
Your eyes, loud-soft, with crying and with smiles,
are older than a million years,
And they are young.
You reach, in season.
below the richrough righttime of your hair.
You have not bought Blondine.
You have not hailed the hot-comb recently.
You never worshipped Marilyn Monroe.
You say: Farrah’s hair is hers.
You have not wanted to be white.
Nor have you testified to adoration of that state
with the advertisement of imitation
(never successful because the hot-comb is laughing too.)
But oh the rough dark Other music!
The natural Respect of Self and Seal!
Your hair is Celebration in the world!