A Morning Ritual

Degna Stone

Your warm thighs press against my bare shoulders;
hold my body still as an afro comb
pulls through frizzy hair with a static hush.

A twist of metal frees the aroma
of Dax pomade, a scoop of thick green oil
forms a slick that melts slowly on the back

of your free hand. The house is quiet, still.
My head rocks, massaged by firm strokes,
the rhythm pulls me closer to you.

You tell me to mind the baby, push me away
from the swell of your belly, hothousing
a sister through the unending heatwave.

You finish. My hair sectioned in fat quarters
secured by plastic bobbles in bright colours.

Degna Stone

Degna Stone is a Midlander in self-imposed exile; she visited Newcastle for the summer in 1999 but never managed to go home. Now she lives with her husband and two daughters in a cottage in the middle of the city.

She is a regular performer on the North East spoken word scene, the proud owner of a Northern Promise Award and is about to begin a Creative Writing MA at Newcastle University. Her first chapbook Between the Floorboards is published by ID on Tyne.

Degna's previous Poem of the Month is Postcard.

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A Morning Ritual © 2010 Degna Stone: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.

Photograph of Degna in performance at Pink Lane © picturesbybish.