Purple Toes and Black Hair (a Poetic Ode to being Bold)

She decided she wanted to write

a poem about purple toes and black hair.

She is not usually silly

or prone to fluffy things,

but light-hearted poetry

seemed a distraction to her

from discouragement

and the problems in her life.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She got a pedicure recently.

It was by a sweet Asian young woman

who did not speak much English,

but did a good job with painting

her toes a bright, pretty purple.

She picked it out to be

different and a bit funky.

She has a slight alternative side

that sometimes she hides well,

because some don’t see it as professional

and there are lots of different styles

that she enjoys.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She once dyed her hair purple

and helped her friend dye her hair

green and then blue

when her friend hated the green.

They were going to the Tooth and Nail tour

to see two bands that they liked who were uber-cool.

The purple dye was only for one day and temporary,

but sometimes she wouldn’t mind

making it more permanent

if only she was younger,

or if she didn’t care what people thought.

That thought makes her sigh,

because people like to judge based on appearance,

and society’s fashion rules for women

can sometimes be quite oppressive,

confining, limiting, and immodest.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She really wanted to be bold

so with her birthday she decided to dye her hair black.

She had never done that before.

It was a light, pretty black that she was drawn to.

But she got sick right before her birthday,

and thus her friend could not dye her hair.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Time went by,

and she had second thoughts,

but it bothered her that

she didn’t take that bold step.

She almost took the hair dye back

but, even if she hated it,

even when someone told her she may look like Elvira,

she just knew she needed to try it.

She needed to not live her life in a box

or worried about what other people thought.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She liked it, once it was done.

Black and bold

in her estimation.

But for some reason it quickly faded

and came to look more like a dark brown.

Still pretty, but not bold.  Not black.

Not the pretty black she had hoped for.

Funny, though, she observed that

many people did not even notice,

and she had thought it was so obvious

and so BOLD.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She is quite glad that she tried purple toes

and black hair.

She keeps telling herself

that change can be good

when she feels stuck in a rut

and like she can’t feel her dreams anymore.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

*Poet’s note: Most of my poetry is personal, however sometimes I like to tell a creative story.  In the case of this poem, it is a true story, and I am the girl with purple toes and black hair.

Before hair dye picture of me (Rosemary Case, photographer)

Before hair dye picture of me (Rosemary Case, photographer)

Before black hair dye picture (Rosemary Case, photographer)

Before black hair dye picture (Rosemary Case, photographer)

Mid black hair dye (Rosemary Case, photographer credit and my Mom)

Mid black hair dye (Rosemary Case, photographer credit and Mom)

Instagram photo of me and my brother, Kevin (two days after black hair dye; Lyle Smith, photographer)

Instagram photo of me and my brother, Kevin (two days after black hair dye; Lyle Smith, photographer)

Toes are not the cutest subject, but I want to show off my purple toes and pedicure (Julie A. Smith, photographer)

Toes are not the cutest subject, but I want to show off my purple toes and pedicure (Julie A. Smith, photographer)

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