Still Can’t Do My Daughter’s Hair is another collection from the Button Poetry company. And while not all collections are for everyone and William Evans’ collection might not resonate with everyone, it probably has a broader appeal.
Evans work is straight forward and (obviously) is poetic it is not “flowery” to not being able to understand the point. You see the amazing images come to life as he writes of life, death, love and being a black man in America. He speaks about his father and their relationship. He speaks of his daughter and realizes how different her life is from his. He gives us lines such as “grass as green as a new soldier” which he compares to the sidewalks he and his friends lived (and died) on. There is mature language and situations, but they are there to move the poem/the story along. There is violence but it is handled respectfully but in heart-breaking detail (he can still “smell the gunpowder you swallowed”).
While I cannot relate to all the themes (I am not of male, of color or a parent), I can appreciate them. I can understand what he feels for his child (even though I am an aunt, I worry that my middle nephew will be sent overseas as he is in the National Guard, my oldest nephew who is innocent about “stranger danger” will try and make a friend where this is not one, I worry about my youngest nephew getting in with the “wrong crowd” and drugs). I love the amazing images he gives us. I appreciate the look into a life that could have been much different.
Still Can’t Do My Daughter’s Hair may not be for everyone, but there might be something for the everyone.