Blues for Samson

My stylist
calls me darling,
says Hi I’m Dee, and asks what I’d like today, smiling.
My hair back, I tell her, my precious locks,
thick and unruly and glossy as they were
before I was fleeced.

Her laughter
as she switches
the clippers on, brings back that sweet-throated witch’s
who comforted me as only your enemy can
in the days of my strength, when I smote
hip and thigh in a great slaughter.

Her nice eyes
by and by rest
on mine in the mirror. She leans in, letting her breast
brush against me. She knows her middle-aged man;
playing me like some trailer Delilah,
and I feel it rise;

the old blunt
that always and only wanted what it shouldn’t;
Gaza, Timna, my Valley girl
who spilled me in broad daylight. I must have reckoned
the sun shone out of her cunt.

Too long now
bereft of it,
a woman’s hands in my hair, or what’s left of it,
is all I seem to require of love,
and all I’ll spill is a tip, Dee; big as my straitened
circumstances allow,

for Dee, once
my head wasn’t bare
as that cornfield after the foxes I set on fire
rampaged through it, or the orchards and olive groves
I flattened with my slat-armored D9 ’dozer,
but maned like a lion’s.

More Poems by James Lasdun