Prayer for the Hairdresser
by Kathryn Gahl Kathryn Gahl

Kathryn Gahl married twice and gave birth twice, worked as a registered nurse, single-parented, and cooked up a storm. She started a PTA and a Soccer Club, watched countless sporting events while she wrote in her head. Eventually, after studying at Bread Loaf, Sewanee, Taos, and Vermont College, she began to write up a storm. Her stories and poems appear in many journals, including The Notre Dame Review, Salamander, Margie, Chautauqua, Wisconsin People & Ideas, and Permafrost. She believes the transcendent power in writing comes from dark chocolate, red lipstick, deep sleep, and the light of her littlest love, her grandson Leonidas. A performance poet, she lives in Wisconsin.

Our Sundays are given voice
by the hairdresser
whose fingers
cracked and dry
know our bones

the bones of hair
Vidal Sassoon called
that fervent way of seeing.

We come to thank the hairdresser who
            washed away worry
            combed ornery ends
            and smoothed held hurts
by teasing
our bangs and beards
to greet each day of bedhead disarray
with a proper
            or mousse.

Let us therefore gives thanks for powers
that calm the gray, straighten the curl,
and curl the straight

for powers that brush
the twists and turns of our lives
into humble submission.

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