When Bundy’s arrested in Pensacola,
you’re five, young enough to have survived, though
not completely intact. Long brown bourgeois
hair, middle parts attract evil, Mother knows,
and so it goes, long locks lopped to a safe
Dorothy Hammill wedge. Old enough to pledge,
through tears, to grow it back, once you escape
a Mormon culture where it’s always alleged
your body is to blame — for any male-
induced indignities or pain. Short hair
won’t stop your body horrors, nor the jail
which holds one misogynist though there
are others, free, who teach you prayers
that you will not tempt them with your hair.
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated sonneteer and a Best of the Net 2020 finalist, the author of a short story collection You Don’t Want This (Pink Plastic Press), The Stakes (Really Serious Literature) and many more books.