ARKANSAS SENIOR POET LAUREATE
Marilyn Camden Norton

I WANNA BRAID MY HAIR

The singer was telling a story...
it was a sad and mournful tale
of a little girl in a baseball cap,
who was tiny and so frail.

He sang as if he knew her...
this child who had learned to cope,
and those who heard the lyrics
knew her heart was filled with hope.

He sang of her dreams for tomorrow,
of a time when she could run,
and fly a kite, and ride her bike
and play in the summer sun.

She hoped one day to remove her mask
and to breathe the cool, clean air...
But, most of all, her greatest wish
was simply to braid her hair.

All the folks who heard this song
must have whispered, "Now, listen to me.
We'll help you ride your bike again;
we'll help you climb that tree.

We'll remove that worrisome mask, little one,
and take you to school once again.
And we'll watch as you braid your lovely hair
to fasten pretty ribbons in."


The song of a child lying sick in bed,
a child who had learned to cope.
Although she was tiny her spirit was strong,
and her heart was filled with hope.

A sweet little girl in a baseball cap;
she learned early that life wasn't fair,
but, ignoring the pain, she earnestly dreams
of the day she can braid her hair.

Marilyn Camden Norton
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
Marilyn Camden Norton, 78, Hot Springs Village, is a well-known and highly talented Arkansas poet whose name frequently shows up on lists of winners in contests across the country, including this one. Marilyn, a retired teacher, has 3 children and six grandchildren. Her sign is Scorpio.