Unsought reflection –
Can the magic pool free her
From unwanted husk?
“Hush your mouth,” her parents say. “Hush your mouth, and let us cut your hair. It’s not good for a boy to have hair like that.” She runs out the door and runs through the woods to where the water glows and the trees grow too straight, where the wind doesn’t blow and the birds sing while they wait for him to arrive. She takes off his clothes, laments, and asks the pool to change the reflection. A crow caws in the distance: “No.”
Nature gave her the wrong skin,
But not the wrong heart.
This was written for Collen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #203, an ekphrastic challenge based on the picture at the top. I saw the naked person, and there’s always something about naked children that bothers me, so I decided this was a slender young woman with long hair. However, there are no hips or breasts, so I went with the interpretation you see above.
North Carolina has a history of anti-trans legislation that I have written glancingly about before and which also was part of the influence for this haibun. Parental support of a transgender child is very important, and I hope this haibun accurately recognizes the pain of having parents who refuse to listen and force conformity.