Sometimes before school

IMG_1106 - Lucky

Sometimes before school
I insist on brushing out the tangles
Feathery ganglions where
A tall girl's chestnut hair should by law lie straight
For she is tall at eight, and rising like a sapling

This morning she takes the Mason Pearson from my hand
(Pink handle, pig bristle on a spongy pad)
And says Daddy can I brush your hair?
Then standing on the couch she circumnavigates my head
Her touch so light, as if to groom a doll

Softly patting down the greying tufts
And I'm reminded how small and light she is herself
Though proud, and sensitive to slights
And how I must not carelessly tug at tangles or scratch her scalp
When I brush her hair before we all head out to school