I'm almost two feet taller now, but no longer at home.
I don't have the same comfort from the hair dryer's
fiery electric drone.
I used to watch the clock dance for hours
and wish I could sleep. I'd scrunch my toes
in the cold contrast and bunch up my shoulders.
Only simple commands were called out:
“Turn. Left. Up. Down.”
When he had insisted wet hair would make me sick
I hesitantly decided, Dad knows best; Old age made him wise.
So I would stare at the bathroom tiles with a burn
behind my eyes. I knew it was an inevitable
recurring ritual, blow-drying this hefty heap.
Through the wild mess of hair
atop my head, there were but a few chances
to catch a glimpse in the mirror, peeking
through the puff.
Blood rushed to my face as I turned my head
upside-down. The tugging brought tears.
Large fingers brushed my scalp. Heat encroached
behind my ears.
But I secretly enjoyed this painful grooming
though I would never admit it then; when I was
standing a tiny bit taller than four feet.