The Cut

by Lila Stuart

It wasn’t just the first tug of her hair,
it was their grabbing the biggest scissors
from the counter, leaving the length of
shimmering purple silk shivering until it
slid onto the shop floor.

The taller of the two dragged her down
treading a pattern of dusty stains onto it,
snapping the scissors open and shut as if
measuring the depth of her fear, defying
her to scream. The other silently smirked

and joined them on the floor. Four eyes
met two as scissor blades caught the light
as they sliced through her tousled tresses:
no real resistance from the hair itself –
all frozen in the brain which shut down
in shock.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at The Belfast Linen Hall Library, Belfast, in 2022. The workshops were led by Maria McManus.