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Michael Estabrook


Raining when I get to
the barbershop the guys
are rearranging
the display windows
dusting, setting up bottles
& brushes in
a more interesting way

Todd the Barber smiles
his white teeth flashing
as he clears a chair
as he pumps me up
& begins
to snip away
at my ever-thinning hair:
around my ears
an inch above my collar

He doesn't talk thank God.
I'm tired & hate
small talk in barbershops

Instead I listen
to the old songs playing
on the AM station; listen
to Carly Simon's warm
wonderful voice
& wonder as Todd the Barber
snip, snip, snips, how
what's-his-name Taylor
could've ever let her
get away

© by Michael Estabrook.
Used with the authorís permission.

Michael Estabrook, a small press poet since the 1980s, says he is "always striving for greater clarity and concision and for rendering language more succinct, precise, accessible and appealing--a Sisyphean adventure for sure." Now retired after 40 years, Michael, who lives near Boston, Massachusetts, is enjoying having more time to write and to work outdoors. He has published more than 20 collections, a recent one being The Poet's Curse, A Miscellany (The Poetry Box, 2019).





Post New Comment:
Ah, yes, James Taylor--another one of the best! Enjoyed your poem.
Posted 06/26/2021 11:39 AM
Good poem! Thank you!!!
Posted 06/25/2021 09:31 PM
Ron Stewart:
Carly Simon, Jxxxs Taylor are two of my very favourite musicians. Great to see them together again. If only in a poem Well done Michael
Posted 06/25/2021 11:56 AM
Im guessing that more than a few of us will be listening to some Carly Simon this evening & will also smile wryly next time our barber (or beautician) starts chatting. Sweet poem.
Posted 06/25/2021 11:43 AM
Love, love, love this poem!!! Real poetry for real people!!!
Posted 06/25/2021 09:41 AM
Janet Leahy:
The barbershop scene is set so well. I know men who would agree with the line, "He doesn't talk thank God."
Posted 06/25/2021 08:13 AM
Ha ha! Love that. I'm a huge Carly Simon fan. First poem I've ever seen with her in it--a a fun one! So appropriate that it's an a.m. radio. And, I agree, barbershop small talk is a fine art; silence is often better :)
Posted 06/25/2021 07:46 AM
Larry Schug:
As a barber's son, I thank you for this,Mike.
Posted 06/25/2021 07:32 AM

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