“Halo everybody, Halo. Halo is the shampoo that glorifies your hair, so Halo everybody, Halo!” The remnants that dangle on the edge of memory when I awaken from a barely-accessible dream are not ones that my conscious mind sees fit to shove to the front of the crowd of past retorts, compliments, taunts, scraps of poetry, lines from old movies and musical ditties that upon occasion drift across it, but when the word “halo” is also repeated as a prompt in the first blog I look up to gather my prompts for the day’s poem, it seems too much of a coincidence to be coincidence.
This terrific Internet roadway that has led me to a worldwide circle of friends, combined with the scrap of memory from my dream, has led me backwards in time to an early morning seventy years before. My dad is long gone, out to feed the cattle or survey the wheat crop, my older sisters have vanished across the street to their classrooms at the first pealing of the school bell, my mother sits in my dad’s deserted rocker with coffee, toast and the morning paper, and I lie on my stomach in front of the Victrola, switching on the radio.
It is that time of the morning when Mother and I are content to let the morning languish away for awhile. It is a terrific time of freedom for my mother, who often insists she is lazy at heart but who in fact makes sure there is always a meal on the table, skirts hemmed, sheets ironed, Christmas presents piled under the tree in time for them to be admired for a week or more before Christmas, Easter eggs hidden just carefully enough in nests that peek out a tiny bit from beside the sofa or the bottom edge of the curtain.
And for me, it is a time when I have total control over what station the radio in our console record player/radio will be tuned to. Every morning, the Halo Shampoo song issues cheerily out into the morning air and already, in the dawn of media commercials, I have been influenced by what I hear. I have persuaded my mother to invest in our first bottle of Halo shampoo, and although I am five now and old enough to know the difference between metaphor and truth, still some part of me imagines the halo that will waft lightly over my head next Sunday as I flip my hair at the corner before setting out to cross the one street between our house and the Methodist Church. God will know the difference, I am sure, and at lunch after Church, when Mother serves Devil’s Food Cake, I have convinced myself that the former will surely cancel out the latter.