Jo Barbara Taylor
after Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters
Lord! I kept my crowning glory all my life.
If a woman have long hair, it is a glory
given her as a covering, decreed from the pulpit.
At my funeral Pastor Karl intoned,
"She was devoted to family and church."
Truth: I was not a woman created
for the glory of a man, not his body
or his blood. I hid in those locks sixty years
from John, our five children.
I shrouded my rage at the scripture
and the Apostolic Christian Church,
to which I willed my hair.
I came to heaven free, shorn.
Jo Barbara Taylor grew up in Indiana and now lives outside of Raleigh, NC. She taught English in public school for 21 years. Her poems and academic writing have appeared in journals, magazines and anthologies. She leads poetry workshops for the North Carolina Poetry Society and OLLI through Duke Continuing Education. She has published four chapbooks, the most recent, High Ground published by Main Street Rag, 2013.