You move around me expertly like the good, round
Italian barber I went to in Florence,
years before we met, his scissors
a razor he sharpened on a belt.
But at first when you were learning, I feared
for my neck, saw my ears like sliced fruit
on the newspapered floor. Taking us back in time,
you cleverly clipped my head in a flat-top.
The years in between were styles no one had ever seen,
or should see again: when the wind rose
half my hair floated off in feathers,
the other half bristling, brief as a brush.
In the chair, almost asleep, I hear the bright
scissors dancing. Hear you hum, full-breasted as Aida,
carefully trimming the white from my temples,
so no one, not even I, will know.
Poem copyright ©2011 by Bruce Guernsey, whose most recent book of poems is “New England Primer,” Cherry Grove Collection, 2008. Reprinted from the Spoon River Poetry Review, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, Summer/Fall 2010, by permission of Bruce Guernsey and the publisher.
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