“Please let my hair grow, Mother, don’t cut it.
A trimmed tree
Is no place for song birds.”
                                     -Anonymous: Landeys
                                     Afghanistan (Pashto)
My Mama never cut my hair
But for once, when I was a girl
And it had become a knotted rope.
A nest had formed, beyond untangling,
And it had to be cut out,
Although the song birds had already
Found its shelter.
One by one I had to let them go,
Say goodbye to song.
My song birds were happy
Where they were.
Although music was always their first passion,
They’d return after serenading another,
Asking: Words or Music? What affects the heart more?
Music, I said, made slivers of me,
Until a song bird
Built another nest from the fractals
In an untrimmed tree.



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