Gibley Finds: Poetry

We’ve all seen hard work, in sweat, stress, tears, and success. And we’ve all seen how too much hard work changes a person. The eyes sink with tiredness, the worked hands weaken, the posture worsens, the calluses form. All of this breeds through repetition, elongated periods of time performing the same things over and over. In one way or another, we’ve all experienced the consequences of exertion.

How Time Affects Her, today’s feature, brilliantly explores an alternative way of looking at how hard work can take it’s toll. Reddit user Jamonde kindly let us share this piece; it portrays the weight of parenthood in a way you’ve unlikely seen before: the curls of a mother’s hair have gone.

This transformation is one of decline, and cleverly acts as the physical manifestation of her character. When the curls are lost, they are no longer a loaded, energised spring, they are no longer bouncy, flexible against the world. Instead they are weighed down, drained of strength, translating to the reader how her person is. No doubt this a sad piece; a parent consumed by menial household chores, worked to the bone, who has not the time for anything remotely fun or anything that doesn’t further her work. But this poem is also one of love and labour. Nobody will tell you parenthood is easy, partly because they’re too busy with parenthood to even remark. It’s a lifestyle to adopt and persist with, and that’s what this mother is doing.

There’s no time for these little, nice things, there’s no time for the cosmetic additions, there’s no time for anything. Even the poem itself is short to one stanza, furthering how busy life has become. There’s no time to write on and on about it, because it can be said quickly. ‘The curly hair is too busy… to be curly again’ and that’s that.

A memorable piece, efficient and cleverly crafted, and a great start to the new year. Definitely a poet to keep an eye out for in the future – well done, Jamonde!

How Time Affects Her

Mom’s curly hair is too busy
Washing the dishes
And taking care of the laundry
To be curly again.

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