A Ray Of Sunshine

It was my first attempt at DIY hair dying.

My friend had transformed her dull brown

into glossy chestnut and Patricia thought

it perfect to transform her unnatural blond.

So I helped her out.

Tiger Lily, it said on the packet. 

Well tigers are a chest-nutty brown,

Or so we thought.

But on a base of blond

the result was unexpected.

Could any creature,

any plant,

be quite so bright,

oranger than orange,

more fiery than fire.

And this was before the days of punk

when the colour would have been lauded 

and sort after.

Not then.

Early for the emergency hairdresser,

Patricia called into the butcher’s shop.

In spite of the warm day

she made sure that 

the hood of her duffle coat was

pulled firmly forward,

hiding what lay


She told me later that she focused

on the large spider on the coat

of the woman in front of her

in the queue

to control her anxiety.

“Did you brush it off for her,”

I asked?


“It seemed quite at home there”,

she told me.

Her turn came.

and then horror!

“Here comes my little ray of sunshine,”

he smiled!

Blood and sand!

She thought he could see it.

But he was just being friendly,

like the spider.



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