Sacred Shearing

Tonight I cut her hair,
an intimate scalping…
a butchering of beauty.

How inadequate my scissors
for this surgery,
slowly staged
to ease the reality
to be faced in every mirror…

mirror on the wall
who has cancer…

First long tresses
to only tears…
this sacred shearing
my soul left bare.

Someone I had met only a short time before this sacred moment, had been diagnosed with cancer.  She had a hysterectomy and then went through a round of chemo and as she began to loose her hair, she asked me to cut it before she lost much of it.  She had thick curly hair that she was proud of.  I tried to spare her by cutting in increments, but in the end it all came off. 

About Mary Herbert

I am a gentle listener, a woman of few words. My journey through life has been a spiritual one, as well as a physical one. My daughter, Katie, and I thought it would be interesting to combine some of our giftings/talents in a blog and see what happens. Let us know what you think!

12 thoughts on “Sacred Shearing

  1. I well remember the “being sheared”…very emotional…had it cut really short and a wig styled to wear…a few days later I shaved the very short hair off and tossed the wig into the far corner of my closet where it still lies…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Usually taken for granted, hair is an important part of our body image. Given back to God, it becomes part of a holy offering. Helping this woman cut her hair, emptied me… and she had the deeper struggle!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You have a deeper understanding of this poem. It is one thing to get a short haircut by choice…but, you understand that it is totally another to lose it to chemo.


  2. How beautiful! What loving trust between the two of you to share such a moment. That moment for me was 17 years ago but the emotion of it can be brought back in an instant. In my moment of shearing I was alone – sacred music playing and me singing through tears.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m at a lose for words. I’ve only walked with individuals through their experience with cancer and have not experienced it first hand. Thank you for sharing this.


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