Barber (an acrostic poem)


Boy could those men tell you stories amid the smell of talc and aftershave

About times in the past that people have forgotten

Remembering with such clarity the neighborhood throughout time

Because they had been there for a combined hundred-sixty years

Everyone came there to sit in those ancient green chairs and listen raptly

Relishing their experience with those historians.  The haircuts weren’t too bad either.

A Simple Pleasure

Sam stood before the mirror in his hospital gown and rubbed his bald head.  Those blue eyes hadn’t faded under the stress, but the rest of his face seemed foreign to him.  Sam had always had a rounded face, but now there were too many angles and hallow spots.  At first Sam had actually enjoyed the lost weight, but now he wished he had the ability to eat like he had just a month ago.

Sam closed his eyes, trying to remember back when life was simpler.  Oddly he focused on the last time he had his hair cut at the barber’s.  He felt the ghostly tug on his hair from the barber’s callused hands pulling each section lightly taunt, before the itchy cut of the shears separated the wanted from the unwanted.  Sam smiled at the memory of the tickle of the trimmer along the back of his head.  The scent of powder and aftershave almost drove him to tears.

Sam forced himself to open his eyes and walk out of the bathroom.  He didn’t bother closing the back of his robe.  He didn’t care if someone saw his backside.  There were more important things to focus on.  There was a quiet knock at the door.

“Are you ready?” asked the nurse.

Sam tried to remember her name.  Was it Jessica?  No, that was the last time.  He gave up.  “I sure am.  Come on in,” he said.

The nurse came in wearing her Loony Tunes scrubs which made Sam smile.  ”Bugs is my favorite cartoon character of all time, Kelly,” he said, proud of himself that he remembered her name.  It was the little things that were important now.  Well, that and the one big thing.

“I love him too,” Kelly said.  “So are you ready for your next round of chemo?”

Sam nodded, not trusting himself to speak just then.  He rubbed his bald head and thanked God that at least his head was a good shape to be bald, but at the same time he couldn’t wait to visit his barber again.  That would be a simple pleasure.