As I sleep my scalp labours on
weaving glittering strands
from the dead fibres of my hair.
Never so noticeable when I was a brunette,
now they drift everywhere
like frost-rimed leaves.
Pinned to my cardigans by static
they are wrought metal jewellery,
a filigree of fancy embroidery.
They cling to the bristles of brooms,
the insides of vacuum cleaners,
clog the shower stinking of marsh gas.
I have heard of birds’ nests being found
lined by hanks of it: our council guidelines suggest
mulching it down on the compost.
Then there’s the pounds of skin flakes
sinking annually into the mattress
to keep the dust mites going.
It’s not at the very end that we return
to the earth we came from.
It takes us back in instalments.