I Stand My Ground

By: Ann Christine Tabaka

You once loved my hair - long & free,

caressing it with a tender touch. Stroking it

with loving fingers. Now ashen locks flow,

cascading over shoulders, past scapula to waist.

A rebellious act against the cause. Over seven

decades, it served me well. It defined me.

Refusing to be caged. Many tell me I am too

old - it is unbecoming. Appearances fade into

oblivion. Age erases need of beauty. I do not

desire admiring glances. I do not care for

convention. I wear my gray flag with abandon.

It is who I am. I reach out to touch you once

more. “Shall I cut it?” I ask … In your busyness,

you do not hear me. You have learned to ignore

me so well. You turn away. I stand my ground.

I defy the norm.

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017& 2023 Pushcart Prize in Poetry; nominated for the 2023 Dwarf Stars award of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association; winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year; selected as a Judge for the Soundwaves Poetry Contest of Northern Ireland 2023. She is the author of 16 poetry books, and 1 short story book. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and four cats.

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