The day she found it.

The First One

I have a dear friend, we couldn’t be more different, yet somehow perfect for each other. She swears like a sailor, I don’t. She is extroverted, I am introverted. She is loud, I am quiet. We’ve been friends since high school and I love her dearly.

Now, my friend can be a bit dramatic at times. Every year she has an age crisis, she’s convinced herself several times she will be passing away very soon. Little things can become very big things and when they do, she always calls me to assure her they are not as bad as they seem.

One such phone call left me in tears, the kind that stream from your eyes during a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Actually, it was a series of calls spanning nearly an entire day.

When I answered the phone she sounded angry, then sad, then angry again. It took me a couple of minutes to pry out of her just what it was that had her so upset. We talked for some time, she cried, I laughed at her. She called me a bitch, I called her an old lady. Before the sun set, we were both laughing and her world was turned right side up again.

I wrote her a poem about her day, as her friend I felt it was my duty to immortalize her ordeal. I was certainly not going to ever let her forget it.

I know a young woman
whose hair was blonde
until the day, that is,
she happened upon
a single gray hair
near the top of her head,
What the heck is this?
she angrily said.
When did this happen?
How can this be?
I wonder if anyone’s
seen this on me?
Should I pull it out?
Will it grow right back,
bringing more of its kind
in some sneak attack?
But then a light bulb appeared
up over her head,
she looked at that hair
and said, I’ll kill you dead.
She packed up the kids
and went straight to the store,
To the beauty department!
she said with a roar.
‘Wash away your gray
in a few simple steps’,
That’s just what I need,
that’s the one I will get.
As she lathered it on,
she said her goodbye,
so long gray hair,
I said that you’d DYE!

Crystal R. Cook

The First Gray Hair

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