Sunday, May 26, 2013

The ponytail, a true tale

The picture prompt at The Mag is called "The Ponytail, by Last Exit" — and one glance at it made me think of my childhood in the 1950s, when the ponytail was a fashion statement for girls. (Boys didn't start wearing them until decades later.)

Ponytail, by Last Exit

ponytails were popular
when I was very young
when my mother made me wear my hair in braids
and not just any braids
for they were very tight
and hurt me where the hair pulled from my head
so my friend across the street
who was never quite discreet
took out the braids and made a ponytail
“oh no!” I cried
“please don’t” said I
“for my mother will be very mad at me!”
I couldn’t go home,
so I didn’t go home
until hunger made my tummy very sore—
when I crept in
with hair of sin,
my mother took one thoughtful look at me
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
“I see,” said she,
“it’s plain to me,
“Gloria’s been at your hair again!”

Posted for
and also for
Open Link Monday
and dedicated to my lifelong friend Gloria, who works very hard at making everyone around her happy, but who has probably never had a poem dedicated to her. She often decided to unbraid my hair and put it up into a ponytail, and I was pretty much helpless because, in those days, she was bigger than I was.



I loved your poem, its innocence and the friendship by which it is inspired.

anthonynorth said...

Ah, mothers are all wise.

kaykuala said...

Remembered those days too Kay! To think the pony tail held its grounds even now, longer than braids. This speaks volume of it being more fashionable.


Jinksy said...

I can remember a girl at school, who, after having had the skin-tight, pull back hair for years, was horrified once3 it was let loose as a teenager, how thin it had become! But a little freedom soon let it become its natural, fluffy self. Thanks for your tale of a tail! lol

VaNdAnA ShArMa said...

Cherished memories:)

Anonymous said...

Very charming =) Whenever we went to the beach my mom would pull my hair back in the most painful high pony tail I thought my face would split in half

SueAnn Lommler said...

So fun and well tuned to the age of "ponytails".
Well done

Berowne said...

Bright, nimble and clever...

aprille said...

what a laugh.
Well, not really as my hair never grew much. Braids or plaits as I know them, were a luxury that other girls enjoyed.
And a pony tail? forget it.
Pig tails, just about.
And it hasn't improved yet.

Fireblossom said...

I like ponytails. Always have. But, myself? I wear hairbands. Hey, Hilary left them lying around, sooo...

Charleen said...

This was sweet. I'm glad the mom wasn't too upset. :-)

hedgewitch said...

Laughin, Kay. Those tight braids that made you look Chinese--I had them too, but then my mother gave me a pixie cut--ugh!--and I never had long hair again till I grew up. I remember the ponytail fashion statement well, but I really kind of like them better on guys. ;_)

Helen said...

Kay this is priceless! I did sport a pony tail ages 14-16 .. but it could NEVER measure up to a certain Miss Linda Simmons whose blonde pony was a PERFECT corkscrew. We were insanely jealous of her. AND she was a cheerleader to boot.

Gail said...

Very cute...funny as a child the things we fear.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Wow you get busy Kay! 3 posts in a day... I love the LDW photos - definitely poetry in picture form. And of course Lindy's so photogenic!

Oh my the pony tail. I too had the braids from Hades forced upon me - but never had a friend to rescue me! A lovely poem of reminiscence. YAM xx

more coffee, please said...

I like the story. :) Everything about the '50s makes me smile. So I was immediately intrigued by your intro.

This is so telling:
"ponytails were popular
when I was very young
when my mother made me wear my hair in braids"
Of course she did! Moms always take the fun out of everything. Now I'm a mom, doing the very same thing. Spoiling the fun for everyone.~

This is my favorite part:
"I crept in
with hair of sin"

Isn't this exactly what we learn? That even our hair can be sinful. That's just plain wrong. I hope you wear ponytails now. :)


Penelope Puddlisms said...

I have never seen a ponytail as luxurious as the one you have pictured. But, like in your poem, I have felt the tightening of hair pulled back on the head and seen my braids set free and sashaying. :)

Rita Odeh said...

You expressed the girl's world perfectly. Thanks for sharing, Kay.

Anonymous said...

I always had a pixie cut and was jealous of my sisters' braids and pony tails! My daughter, Riley, always had to have her hair loosely braided at night or it was a hornet's nest in the morning.

I love this little tale from your youth, Kay. I'm a sucker for "slice of life" writing, anyway, but this one, including the "sinful" non-braids and your mom's wise comment, is priceless! Amy

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh this took me back. Pony tails and peddle pushers, right? My Grandma hated it that I always hid behind my bangs. "Expose your noble brow!" was her refrain, and she'd skin my hair back into the tightest ponytail possible. I would skulk home down the alleyways, trying not to be seen, till I could get home and cover my "noble brow" again! Now they call pedal pushers capris, but pedal pushers was apt back then as we biked everywhere - never were driven!

Kerry O'Connor said...

It is quite something to have a lifelong friend and memories such as these. I doubt children today pay much attention to their parents' wishes regarding hairstyles and fashion in general.

jabblog said...

Your mother - how wise:-)

The tightly-pulled-back ponytail is known as an 'Essex facelift' in UK - it's not a complimentary remark!

Jim said...

It's a nice poem, Kay. I am taking if for the truth about you. You made it out to be a pitiful soul afraid of sin's rewards, I can see her without the picture.

I was a teenager when the 50's began. I remember having white jeans, purple ties, and two meals for a dollar at the "P Street" diner.

My hair? I had a bleached blond tuft in the front of my otherwise black head of hair which had a hint of a duck tail.

Mary said...

Mothers and daughters SO often differ about their sense of style. This poem is a good illustration of that.

Susan Lindquist said...

Haha! Perfect reminiscence! Mothers! You gotta love their way of cutting to the chase!

Laurie Kolp said...

Nothing like friends to do each other's hair.

Susie Clevenger said...

Love this glimpse into your youth...I remember the days of friends doing one another's was always such fun!!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

You are a creative person, and I love how you share yourself in your poetry. You've found a good cadre of friends. Well done.

Maggie Grace said...

Oh that feeling of relief to hear your mother's response! Lovely memory and ode to your friend Gloria!

Tess Kincaid said...

Oh I wanted a ponytail mother had my hair cut in a short pixie cut...I would pin a sock on my head for ponytail effect...