Dreads

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 4/27/08

This hemisphere of the planet tilts splendidly
Into gnarly April, and one bright morning,
Children with tiny voices, like hysterical nests
Of birds, rat the blue air into frenzies
Of inarticulate shrieks. Now we awaken
From a dream where our reason has been
Despoiled by images fraught with filaments
Of blood. A strange barbarism has afflicted
Our hair. Henceforth, our heads will be the wretched
Exteriorization of these ragged entanglements
Of our secret welked and knotted longings.
True, blue skies have always messed with logic,
No matter how carefully parsed and parted.
The meteorologists have smugly assured us of that.
So why do we listen to this dermatologist
Who describes with perfect aplomb
How “the cuticular fibers have been reversed
Due to nocturnal rubbings,” earnestly diagnosing
Our seized-together, catastrophic mass,
“As just another, unfortunate case “interdigitation.”
“A process,” he will say, as if it calmed us,
“Exactly analogous to the manufacture of felt
From the wool of lambs.” Hair felting,
Plica neuropathica, Uncontrollable Hair Syndrome —
No reasonable linguistic application
Can mitigate our distress. A tornado of twists
And kinks is erupting from our skulls,
And incessantly reminding us of those filaments
Of blood, those shrieking birds, these vast, blue
Sheets of inexplicable splendor, all these innumerable
Emblazonings of garbled foliage and juvenile flowers
Announcing the advent of another unruly spring.

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