Tuesday, December 29, 2015

LITTLE HAIRS by jjméndez

LITTLE HAIRS

Every time
we moved
to a new place
my old man
would quietly 
step away into 
the backyard
in search of a nook
where he would
hope to find a hook 
or else, he would 
hammer one crooked 
nail on the wall 
or tree and hang 
his double-sided 
barber’s mirror.

Come Saturday 
morning sharp 
my old man would 
visit his selected spot 
hang the moon-like 
mirror and pull out 
his favorite ivory 
shaving cup,
his badger bristle 
shaving brush, 
and his dreaded 
leather strop
made of genuine
Texas cowhide
that all of us 
children always 
feared like
the La Llorona
in the dark.


He would grab
the strop 
by its ends 
and snap it 
like a spanking 
belt and crack
the wind like a whip.

Through a window
we would watch 
him grasp with one 
hand the stainless 
steel razor blade
by its mother of pearl 
handle and bend 
his hairy arm and trim 
his bristly chin 
as he stretched 
his suntanned 
cactus cheeks 
while using 
the other hand
to make the stubble
in his face perk up
like porcupine quills.

And then... we 
would turn 
our heads to see
our mother’s gleaming 
eyes triumphantly 
light up her face 
with a sudden 
rush of haute airs 
telling everyone 
once again she 
did not have 
to swipe clean
those annoying
little hairs from 
the bathroom
washbasin and 
assorted toiletries.


© 2015 jjméndez



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