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Peril Entry: The Peril of the Jab

September 18, 2012

{quick note: I have probably got things wrong here. Please tell me if you have enough spoons. *for longer verision see first comment}




  1. a sharp poke or stab
  1. a quick short blow, esp (in boxing) a straight punch with the leading hand
  1. (informal) an injection ⇒ polio jabs


Melissa stared at her new baby girl, Amy. She was so beautiful. Big brown eyes that seemed to be smiling even when she was grizzling. Her brown skin like her daddies, but soft and tender. Melissa wanted to cry.

The time for the jab was near. She didn’t want to do it. But she had had it, her mum, her sisters, her friends. They all had had the jab, and now, it was time to decide for her own little one.

Tom wanted to do it. It would make Amy normal, he said. No one kept the kinky hair, not now there was a permanent solution. Melissa herself had beautiful hair, so black and silky and straight. Long too. He loved to twine his hands in it, to stroke it, let the strands slip through his fingers. It was her best feature, he said. Didn’t she want that beautiful hair for Amy? If she didn’t have the jab, well what then? Why make her life that much harder? What about school? She would be bullied, called nappy head and worse. And work. Natural hair was not professional. It was just a jab. One shot, then smooth and flowing hair. She would fit in.

Melissa knew all this. But a big part of her screamed that her girl was beautiful. As she was. That her hair was part of her, her heritage, that it was beautiful in itself. Soft, with short curls that would stand like a halo about her baby’s head. The hair would have framed her face, make her cheekbones higher and her dark eyes stand out more. The tiny curves would reflect the light in a thousand waves, like glitter. It would smell of cocoa butter. It was part of who she was, and isn’t it strange that they are all post-racial now, but that beautiful hair just happens to look more like white people’s hair.

The time for the jab was soon, Melissa had to decide. It had to be done before the child was nine months, or it didn’t take.

She booked the appointment. It felt like another defeat.


Next noun of peril:


Ka (kɑː )


(in ancient Egypt) an attendant spirit supposedly dwelling as a vital force in a man or statue


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One Comment
  1. *{Longer Note: I am the whitest person EVAH, and here I am trying to write about black experience. I prolly got it wrong, and while you do not have to educate me, if you fancy it, I will take anything gratefully. It was really interesting how although I love natural black hair, how a lot of the words that line up in my head as cliches to talk about beautiful hair were about white people hair, and the words about beautiful black hair were all weirdly exotifying. Huh, things to think about 3million. I am repeating ‘beautiful’ on purpose as the word is both powerful and vague and used as a big stick to beat women of all colours. It may not work.]

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