As my hair starts to disappear, I have found a new barber who is very understanding.


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,
Tell you what, sir,
I'll give you a cut
That is not too short or too long,
A style that will not be too modern
Or too old-fashioned,
I'm impressed by his considered opinion,
And let him weave his magic,
Snip, snip, snip, snip, there all done!
He steps away and fetches a hand mirror
To let me see the back of my head,
There, you like, sir?
I tell him I do like the terraced hair
Around a pink pond of baldness,
A little hanging garden of Babylon,
He brushes me down, but there is one last ritual,
A dab of hair oil from a Persian-style bottle,
He rubs his hands like a market magician
And kneads my scalp vigorously,
Always wear your hair naturally, sir,
I said I was with him on that,
Rejuvenated, refreshed, I paid the man,
Before leaving, I told him my name, Chris,
And he told me his, Faz, and that he was a Kurd,
And that he'd cut hair in England, Turkey and Italy,
Cut hair, I said, no, worked miracles, I said.

Chris Fernie, 2006

Poetry by Chris Fernie
Read 501 times
Written on 2006-09-13 at 12:08

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Alison Clarke
Dear Chris:

This poem was fun: with tongue-in-cheek imagery, a sense of apprehension (in getting the hair cut), a sense of honesty, and an admirable way of poking fun at yourself. Good for you. This poem was very refreshing to read. Have a great day.