White hairs began to appear
At just eight years old.
My aunt, adorned with fiery red curls
Gasped as she spotted the strand
That stuck out against the deep
Soil brown hair that I had
Always had my entire life.
“You’re getting old!” She laughed,
Though cackle would’ve better
Suited it – that’s what Dad always said.
I never feared growing old until
That day, because not it was too
Close for comfort. I cried, hurling myself
Into the burnt tan couch in the living room,
Yelling “I’m going to die!”
That is all it meant to me to grow-up:
To have my own life, to raise others,
To grow old, to die.
That’s all life was. And I hadn’t even lived
The first part yet.
The white hair was the first sign that I realized
My Nana was old – lying in a hospital bed and
Looking up at my family, saying goodbye.
It was the color of Granny Charlene’s skin when we moved
Away and she died the next spring.
But it was also the color of snow, fallen fresh from the
Graying skies. It was the color of the wedding dress
My Aunt wore when she met the love of her life,
Eighteen years after the first wedding.
White wasn’t an evil color.