In high school, my daughter,
she of the long brown tresses,
bleached her hair gold.
It was color wars at school
and she was captain of the yellow team.

Her entrance into college
was accompanied by tattoos.
A colorful mandala on her shoulder,
but permanently?
Elvis on her ankle,
for the rest of her life?

But Mother, I’m not doing drugs,
I’m not in jail.

What good would it do me to argue?
Her hair grew out, now back to
its ordinary brown like mine.
The tattoos were mostly hidden
by her modest wedding dress.

Now her head is shaved on one side,
her hair hangs long over the other shoulder.
She’s nurturing her first child and learning
what it means to raise a rebel.

Fran Abrams’ poems appear in many anthologies and journals including Cathexis-Northwest Press, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Delmarva Review, The Raven’s Perch, and Gargoyle. Her autobiographical poems, “I Rode the Second Wave: A Feminist Memoir,” was published in November 2022. Her first chapbook, “The Poet Who Loves Pythagoras,” was released in April 2023.