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Madeleine Higgins: Poetry Collection

Love Letter to My Long Hair:

Is sixteen years too late to say

it’s not you, it’s me?

Trite, I know.

But oddly, for something that is (was) meant to be

a symbol of fertility,

You were so dead already—


So (scientifically), but also deadened

By the spindly fingers of my mother,

Straightening you for years until I learned to myself,

Picking and loosing and scabbing

Until my arms ached to the fingertips.

What is it they say? When it’s bad,

It’s bad, but when it’s good,

It’s really good (e.g.

The way you fell down my shoulders like

A sack of heavy coins on the night of my sophomore prom,

Making me into a wild princess

or a Miss Universe winner, pretty

Effortfully. Deadly.)

Oh, love—it

Was all too much, my scalp was heavy and bleeding,

Melodramatizing and anthropomorphizing, deadly,

So now you sit,


To be swept on the floor of the salon.

Or on

Someone else’s


About the Author:

Madeleine Higgins is a junior in high school who lives in Manhattan, New York. She writes poetry, essays, and nonfiction when she’s not juggling being both a STEM and humanities focused student.

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