On the First Day

all us kids had to do it eh


a lot of us cried

all huddled together like sheep

bleating and pushing

trying to melt into each other

more scared then we’ve ever been


one by one

we’re peeled off

taken into a little room

us left behind catch

the glint of a sharp edge

hear the crying

before the door closes


some never had it done

their long perfect braids

a measure

of their seasons

an umbilical cord to mama

earth and a map back home

cut away


just like sheep

they go in fat and fluffy

came out bald as babies

except all skinny and sick looking


the boys got buzzed bald

the girls those awful bowl cuts


when it’s my turn

I climb onto the cold grey chair

look up at the nun

my eyes blinking terror


she says something at me

it sounds like an angry crow

holds long scissors like a claw

the silver smiles malice at me


the crow-nun reaches and I flinch

only to be caught by her other hand

smashes my head so hard

blood blooms a berry patch

on the clean white wall


I don’t move after that

not for a long time


I just sit there

staring big eyed

mute like an owl


watch my hair

fall wisps

of something

I used to be