Wash Day

SaMya Overall

my sisters,
why do we hate wash day?
what is about the released tension
of a rubber-banned scalp
as vanilla pre-wash
proliferates the pores
the wide teeth of your comb
slide through those tight coils
they spring back to your temple
and as we rinse
they swallow gulps of water
like parched children
remember how dirty our hair would get?
the dirt from rolling in the grass
under the burning sun
playing freeze tag
where girls’ locks swung behind them
like extended arms
and you gently grab—
tag, you’re it.
or maybe it’s the sudsing lavender lather
the shines a stark white against black tresses
as your nails dig into that relaxed scalp
scratching the roots like prairie dogs.
and somehow three inches becomes much more
as your crown comes alive in that humid oasis
and it slurps sweet shea butter conditioner
smooth and creamy on your fingers
a breath of fresh almonds
you wring the excess water
a foggy swamp color—
do you not think of this as self-care?
my sisters, isn’t your hair
the most delicate thing?

SaMya Overall is a 4th year student studying English – Creative Writing at Michigan State University. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief at The State News and a managing editorial intern at Simon & Schuster, with experience at Macmillan and Feminist Press. This is her first published piece of creative work.

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