Dude needs a haircut

Been trimming his hair since
it was dark brown, thick, straight,
easy to cut for an amateur like me,

though after all these years,
I suppose I’m a semi-pro, and my
fee has never gone up: a penny

or a kiss, as established by little
boys whose hair I cut as a favor to
their mom (can it be?) 40 years ago.

They offered the penny; I pointed to
my cheek and, blushing, they delivered
sweet pecks I still carry with me.

But this guy—he’s gonna be 80
in a couple of days, and though he
bemoans the appearance of his

sweet scalp, he still rocks thick
white fringe that grows heartily,
which I treasure, especially on a

warm February day when we can
haul the tall chair out to my backyard,
where he can perch and we chat

as I trim, thankful for every hair
on that head, for every cut I can
do, every day we have together,

which I plan to carry with me
for all the rest of mine.

(Photo / Dick Schmidt)

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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4 Responses to Dude needs a haircut

  1. Kent Borrowdale says:

    Thank you for changing your glasses!
    Now we can tell who you are.
    So with all these wonderful vignettes, I can hardly wait for your first short story. You have great introductions; now add a body, a teaching moment and a settlement.

    • janishaag says:

      Thanks, Kent! I have many short stories and essays (some published in literary journals and magazines) and two unpublished novels, actually, with all that and more. The poems have become a daily practice in quick writing and not fussing over them before sharing them. The bonus is when kind people like you comment on them!

  2. Mary Ann Carrasco says:

    I love this…the poem and the photo. Cutting hair is a very intimate task and you have captured it in the poem nicely. BTW, I cut Rick’s hair! He taught me, being the retired barber/hairstylist!

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