Next week sees the re-opening of barber shops; this is how I remember them.


Please sit down, sir,
He says in a foreign accent,
And puts round my neck
A black sheet, a shroud for dead
Hair, and I notice that he wears
A belt of different scissors like
A circus knife thrower;
I gulp a little, the sheet feels tight,
I tell him and he loosens the knot,
What would you like?
More hair, I reply,
He laughs in the mirror,
I'll try my best, sir,
I laugh in the mirror,
I tell him to do his best
With my balding barnet.

Snip, snip, snip, snip, scrape,
There, all done, sir!
He steps away and fetches a hand mirror
And shows me the back of my head,
There,you like, sir?
I tell him I do like the terraced look
Around a pink pond of skin,
A little hanging garden of Babylon;
He brushes me down, but there is one last ritual,
A dab of hair oil from a Persian-syle bottle,
He rubs his hands like a market magician
And kneads my scalp vigorously,
There, sir, don't you feel better now?

Sure do, I say, and pay the man,
With a tip for the massage,
I tell him my name is Chris,
And tells me his, Faz,
And that he is a Kurd,
And that before coming to England
He cut hair in Turkey, Italy and France,
And that his big dream is to open
A barber's shop in a free Kurdistan.

He says see you again soon, sir, as I leave.

Poetry by Christopher Fernie The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 48 times
Written on 2021-04-10 at 12:08

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Bibek The PoetBay support member heart!
I was smiling throughout.

Such a gentle and relatable narrative. And fun to read too!

Elle The PoetBay support member heart!

Elle x

Thomas D The PoetBay support member heart!
Beautiful, direct, compassionate portraiture.

ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
So enjoyed this work, Chris, and appreciated final stanza.
Ken D