Hair Color by Nancy Lubarsky (ONE GOOD MEMORY Series)

Silver Birch Press

women-with-red-hair-amedeo-modigliani.jpg!LargeHair Color
by Nancy Lubarsky

I never knew my father dyed my mother’s
hair. It happened at night, after I went to sleep.
Onetime their muffled voices woke me. They
didn’t know I was there. I sat in our small

apartment’s dark living room, peered around
the corner. They were in the kitchen, her back
to him, covered with old sheets, a few more
spread underneath. At first, I wasn’t sure—

there was just a sour smell. She leaned back
against his chest, her eyes closed, his thick
arms above her head. He rubbed her temples,
then one plastic-gloved hand picked up the

narrow brush, dipped it in the mixture. Slowly,
he parted her hair, dabbed at the white roots.
There was a swish sound as he stroked back
and forth, lifting layer after layer of hair. They

hardly spoke except when he whispered, tilt
your head. I saw him…

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