Monday, May 27, 2013

The Things Between Us

The Things Between Us

When I was five:
A foreign baby wiggles behind
smudged Plexiglas and pressed palms
my mop-headed newborn sister,
a pink burrito in a plastic cart,
in need of a name

A bone-colored comb
choked with knots is freed by the
glide-swish, glide-swish
of Mama’s rouge handled scissors
coolly circumventing my right ear

A new word—alopecia
my friend slowly pulls her wig away for
one day at the beach to swim and sun, free and light
at fourteen friends could still drown
fear in lake water

Slathering Manic Panic dye without apology
magenta, electric blue,
forget-me-not purple
so different, so the same
seven months of invisible stardom

Grandma clutches tufts of hair,
cursing the chemo that
anchors her and her new curls—
silver as the spoons she still hasn’t passed down—
to our family for years to come

The fluid rhythm of Mama’s fingers
playing my mane like a fine-tuned instrument
pull-tugs, snugging tight these and all the things between us—
a braided history binding in broken ends,
knots and all

This wonderful, heartfelt poem is written by Niki Falkner. Niki is an English teacher and has won several awards for her poetry.


  1. long, luscious tendrils of love!
    beautiful expression & symbolism!

  2. A whole generation of story in one poem.

  3. A beautiful poem capturing precious moments

  4. I like how Nike recaptures her life in words; reflecting, looking back. As I read it that's exactly where it took me in my mind -reflecting, looking back. Great work Niki!

    1. Thank you so much for your praise and commenting Betty!

  5. Nice progression of the relationship, from it's inception to adulthood, while bringing in other elements of their lives. :) Writer’s Mark

  6. Thanks for sharing this poem! Great progression through the years. As the years continue, so could the poem! Twenty two pulls at my heart.
    (Thanks for visiting my blog!)

    1. Yes, we all remember that sad time very well. I love to hear peoples comments. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Lovely poem. I enjoyed reading it.