I study the gray ends of her locs.
I am tempted to reach out and stroke
Those faded tips, as if the color
In my skin could be rubbed off and
Transposed onto her hair.
My mind says she is too young
To have graying hair. She’s in
Her mid-twenties and is childless.
My heart reminds me that
Youth and childlessness do not
Equate to a stress-free life.
I see her everywhere. Sometimes
At several different places on
The same day. When she speaks
In front of crowds, her eyes smile;
If I am able to catch her alone, in a
Vulnerable moment, her lips tremble
And I can see storms brewing in her eyes.
I imagine at that moment, when she waves
At me as she scurries off to mingle
With other guests, that the tip
Of one of her locs forever loses its color.
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen