Ode to My Hair
by Zaria Talley

Runestone, volume 3

You are a symbol of strength:
raised fists, unapologetic pride,
a force that refuses
to be tamed, maintained.
You fought against the perms
and hot combs we forced upon you
in hate for what sprouted
from our scalps.
We were convinced by those
who didn’t look like us
that you were wrong, ugly,
unprofessional and unkempt,
until we grew tired of trying
to be what we were not.
We fell in love with each curl on our heads,
no longer ashamed to claim you as our own.
Your kinks took the spots they belonged in,
placing your crown of rings upon us
like you did with those before
who wore you in rebellion for our rights,
rights that we still yearn for today
with our hands up, palms out.


George Mason University

Zaria Talley is a freshman a majoring in English, and has been writing for years. She attended an arts high school for literary arts, and was heavily involved in their award-winning literary magazine and newsletter. She has won two silver keys from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and currently writes lifestyle pieces for her university’s branch of the Odyssey Online. She is honored to be included in this volume of Runestone.

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