I tied a ribbon in her hair
She wanted a soft yellow
It matched her autumn red dress.
I looped it and made two bunny ears
And she looked in the mirror, and smiled. Smiled up at me. Hugged me tight.
I watched it bounce as she ran to the bus stop, her Afro bobbing.
I clutched to the door frame, wondering
If the ribbon would fly away.
She finally came home
Her eyes sparkling like my apple cider
That I only choose to drink near the holidays
She chattered and spun around the kitchen
Her ribbon was nowhere to be seen.
"Where is your ribbon?" I said in a low tone.
She shrugged and continued babbling, a brook
Full of shiny, shiny blue water. It made my eyes hurt.
"Tell me where it is!" I snapped.
She finally looked at me. "A boy yanked it out of my hair. At recess."
I stared at her in horror, opened my mouth
But she started giggling. Harder and louder. She covered her mouth.
"He was cute."
I slammed down my coffee cup. I can only see the steam flying from it.
"Do you know how long it took for me to tie that in your hair?"
Her eyes were welling up. But I didn't care. "You better get it back. Tomorrow, or so help me...you understand?"
She started to whimper. I increased my tone.
"Yes," she finally whispered. She ran out of the kitchen, leaving me with the smell of coffee grounds.
The next morning, a creased, yellow ribbon was pressed in my hand. It was brown and green, stained from grass and dirt.
I opened my mouth, but she shook her head.
"I can do my own hair," was all she said, and she disappeared in the bathroom.