little bit of lagniappe

reflecting on everyday grace

Upon examining my thirty-three-and-a-half year-old scalp

While this past weekend was not the first time I noticed my growing collection of beloved gray hairs on my head, it was the first time I felt free and moved to write about these new friends…


Upon examining my thirty-three-and-a-half year-old scalp

Little gray hairs,

I see you

nestled in this head of chestnut brown

I’ve brushed and combed

for nearly four and thirty years.


Where did you come from?

And, when did you

in your quiet mystery

begin to grow?


Have you been beginning since I began?

Buried silver

spun from

steps I’ve taken,

loads I’ve carried,

nights I’ve lost sleep.


You glisten in the sun,


and reflect the light —

a kaleidoscope of colors

woven from the past,

from experience

that youth and chestnut brown

cannot match.


I’ll not hide from you,

nor pluck you out


(despite the pleading voices from the magazines)


for there are other places

on this weary body

who, too, remind me of my years —


places where fingerprints have danced,

that accidents have marked —

these funny-boned storytellers

like creaky knees who mutter:

“I have traveled far.”


And, ah, I sigh,

this must be what living is all about —

to wear our journey fully,


to endure the dull grays of life,

to embrace the beauty they bring,

and to give thanks that

we had them at all.



June 22, 2013


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2 thoughts on “Upon examining my thirty-three-and-a-half year-old scalp

  1. Jenny on said:

    I loved your poem. It made me sad but also thankful for the many experiences I have had so far. I especially like the part about how our body has little footprints left on it from our experiences. I think you might have forever altered my thought process when I discover my next gray hair.

  2. Jenny T…
    so glad you enjoyed the poem, my friend, and here’s a song to remind us that regardless of what the “outer” may reveal (the “footprints” of experience), let’s keep our heart young:

    (This is Brandi Carlile, one of my absolute favorites, singing “Keep Your Heart Young”…LOVE IT!)

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