After your birthday

A tangled mess is a tangled mess,
Even if you need to point this out.

So, let your red hair down

And speak with the Voodoo
of promises made
during friendlier times.

Make the movement of the tongue
that will blacken all future handshakes
and handholds.

Let the red hair down

As soon as I am relieved of earshot
speak the words
full of ruby riot
that leave scintilliant welts.

Let down the red hair
in the car
touching on black ice,
and other soft spots
as you start your turn.

Let down the hair
because, I am aware
what the rabbit eats
concerns the fox
very little.

Let down your red hair.

for H. Poling

November 1998