Thursday, August 25, 2011


This poem was published two years ago in Boston Literary Magazine.
Check that site out, by the way:
It's a great site:  they are a well-run, well-put together literary journal.  
Jon Bishop

I’ve been getting haircuts
From the same barber
For twelve years now.

He knows my style, knows my name.
I love coming in, sitting down, and
Then he flaps the protective
Towel-thing; the hair flies to the floor.
I smile at myself in the mirror.

My hair ragged and unkempt,
But not for long! I tell
Him, “I’d like one
Regular haircut please.”

He begins the process of
Cutting, styling, snipping.
We converse during.
About politics, the town,
The weather. Good conversation.

With the haircut complete, I look in the mirror.
Looks good—wonderful, actually.

I pay him, give him a nice tip.
He sends me off with a booming, hearty,
“Come back soon! It’s been nice seeing you.”
And he meant it.

I leave. Go back to doing.
I return some months later.
Another haircut—a necessary
Cutback to bring the appearance
Back to a compatibility with things.

I’m shocked—it’s gone.
The barbershop is gone.
He must have retired, the barber.

In its place is one of those big,
Big fancy stylist-salons.
I look at it, into it for a moment.
And I can’t bear to go in.

No haircut today: I walk back to the car.

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