A New Side
I wanted to try something new.
So I parted my hair on the side
one summer Saturday when I was fourteen.
The small act of self-government
was like my first baby step, wobbly, worrisome,
and very courageous. My braids and middle-part
held me back I determined,
so to advance my adolescent adventures
I changed the style of my hair
and borrowed my Mother’s black bathing suit with
36-C cups and a girdle tight fit.
Like woven rubber bands, the suit
squeezed my chubby tummy, cut into my thighs,
and coddled my baby fat breasts.
Ahhh! But my hair looked fine,
and fell past my brow, into my eye.
My confidence grew as the breeze ruffled my curls,
and I brushed the wisps away and sucked in some air.
I waited alone on the warm plushy beach,
my towel clumped beneath my body
held captive in my Mother’s black suit.
Waves crashed and calmed, gulls snacked and napped,
the sun melted west, but
no new attentions came my way.
My matted hair fell damp, my thighs rubbed sand, sweat trickled
between my reddened breasts, and
my caged stomach growled.
I ordered a cheeseburger with mayo at the snack bar,
and a chocolate milkshake to drink.
I pulled the hair away from my eye,
tucked it firmly behind my ear
and on another brave whim,
I refused the French fries,
for I felt quite strong that day
and ready to stick with something new.
Meredith Bunting enjoys writing poetry and personal stories, especially those through which God shines. She also writes devotions for KPC Connect, her church’s website offering people daily inspiration and encouragement. Meredith lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with her two dogs and husband, and is surrounded by three daughters and eight rollicking grandchildren. Writing is how she stays immersed in this, her full cup of joy.