Li-Young Lee


Early In The Morning


While the long grain is softening
in the water, gurgling
over a low stove flame, before
the salted Winter Vegetable is sliced
for breakfast, before the birds,
my mother glides an ivory comb
through her hair, heavy
and black as calligrapher's ink.

She sits at the foot of the bed.
My father watches, listens for
the music of comb
against hair.

My mother combs,
pulls her hair back
tight, rolls it
around two fingers, pins it
in a bun to the back of her head.
For half a hundred years she has done this.
My father likes to see it like this.
He says it is kempt.

But I know
it is because of the way
my mother's hair falls
when he pulls the pins out.
Easily, like the curtains
when they untie them in the evening.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: hair, mother, father, winter, music, water

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Early In The Morning by Li-Young Lee )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 4 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. If, Rudyard Kipling
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  8. There is another sky, Emily Dickinson
  9. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. If I be, Nero CaroZiv
  2. To Helen, Luo Zhihai
  3. Chivalrous Me, Jara Son of Ahaz
  4. Love, love and love, hasmukh amathalal
  5. Money, Hanh Chau
  6. 'Daydream's Lunacy', Katherine York
  7. Poet, Hanh Chau
  8. Goodnight Kiss 2, Michael P. McParland
  9. The New Me, Joshua Hillard
  10. My Dreams, Joshua Hillard
[Hata Bildir]