A Mother Braiding Her Daughter’s Hair

A mother braiding her daughter’s hair, Christian Krohg, 1888.

The girl stands patient, her head
bowed, resigned against
the tug, braced against

the braiding in the room’s red
glow. Mother sings soft
words that make no sense.

The comb parts the flowing hair
diving through the waves
in a straight white line.

The part leaves the girl’s nape bare
to warm sun’s kissing
beam touching her spine.

Bright on the moving fingers
dividing, twisting
over and under.

On mother’s hands it lingers
warm on her soft cheek
dispelling slumber.

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