When fall arrives on the reservation, everyone makes coats out of dead hair. My sisters are toddlers, so their hair is not long enough to create garments. Mother asks me if I will cut all mine to keep them warm. I go to my room, find a pair of scissors and let the black strands fall at my feet. I am aware of my crying as I carry the thick clumps into the living room, where my sisters are waiting for their warmth. Mother and I exchange a mournful stare. When it grows back, I will bury myself so I can keep what makes me happy.
Ashlie Allen writes fiction and poetry. She is also a photographer. She loves Japanese and Native American culture.