Buckaroo

by abubhaji

Poppa used to blow-dry our hair;
sisters and I would sit as bathed pups
upon our family-room floor.
With slow care, he’d pull through wet locks
his black barbershop comb.
Under towel wrap, thick orange shag
clenched our naked butts. When
Poppa would yank, we’d dig hard our small heels
and snarl.
Avon blower, warming our heads, held attachments
to help detangle knots but
that’s not how he’d had it
in the Nam;
slow till of the hills tending for punji pits
careful not to brush up dap loi mines.
Mom scooped Rocky Road into blue tupper-
ware;
called my sisters chickadees,
called me Buckaroo.