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Early Rituals

unfold the box

first day of school holidays
mulberry hair dye at the chemist
$4.95 for six weeks of tinted revolt

the uniform
absurd plastic gloves

rip open
the first juicy tang of chemicals

the tattered robe skyclad beneath

plum juice beetroot juice
combed to the roots
your mother wipes red from your ears

you stalk the timer’s tick
inspect the oil slick of scalp
metamorphose into grown up

you can dye your hair do anything

at last
in the shower dye bruises water

six weeks pass back at school
brown hair flaunts summer’s last jacaranda
you hope secretly for the detention

Other poems from Zenobia Frost's collection 'Salt and Bone'

The Hobby

Civic Duty

Cimitiere des Innocents, 1786