The barber who came by today,
The one who claims, “I’ve shaved you all” –
My father (dead), my uncle (dead),
Their father (dead), their uncle (dead),
Their distant cousin (almost dead),
And me, when I was one year old –
Deduced I am “irresolute”.
I laughed despite the blade he grazed
Against my prickly clover chin.
“And why exactly am I that?”
He blew upon my shaven skin,
And razed the Adam’s Apple slow.
“Just look at how your beard grows.
See, this way, that way, swirly, cursed.
A nightmare for our razorwork.
It’s like it’s trying to be rude.
“And how were my forebears’ beards?”
“Oh! They were straight and silk and sparse.
And nothing like your prickly brush.”
Before I spoke, I heard him hush!
“I’ll cut you if you move so much.
Unless you straighten out your ways,
You’ll have your bloody shaving days.”
He sounded almost menacing.
This toothless, though unfrazzeled, king
Who sat upon his three-legged throne,
And held his court from door-to-door,
At least the ones that opened still.
“Your father had an iron will.
Don’t shame him like this anymore.
Make up your mind. Become his pride.
And get yourself a decent bride.”