American Life in Poetry: Column 128


Our poet this week is 16-year-old Devon Regina DeSalva of Los Angeles, California, who says she wrote this poem to get back at her mother, only to find that her mother loved the poem.

Snip Your Hair

I’ll snip your hair   
Cut it all off until you look like a man   
I will replace your weight loss bars with bars to make you gain   
I will cut your credit cards in half   
I will shrink all your clothes   
Every trick in the book I will try   
I will give all your shoes to the dog   
I will do it all   
Crazy is where you will be driven   
Off a cliff you will want to jump   
Then when I am all done   
I will look at you with big doughy eyes   
And I will say I am sorry   
But I have my fingers crossed   

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Reprinted from Untangled: Stories & Poems from the Women & Girls of WriteGirl, WriteGirl Publishers, 2006. Poem copyright © 2006 by WriteGirl Publishers and used by permission. Introduction copyright © 2019 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.