The Haircut

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of poetry. Here’s one about my son and his recent haircut.

Yesterday, my son got his hair cut
for the first time in more than three years.
Well, that’s not quite true.
He’s had it “trimmed” several times.

And cut, very badly, once.
But that was only an inch or two.
This time, he had it shaved off
the sides.
And cut short on top.
Almost like the young George McFly but much cooler, I think.
Which I guess means it’s not cool at all because I’m almost 43 and he’s 14.
A pile of hair on the floor of the salon.
How many inches?
6? 8?
Seems like a foot.
That’s how much he’s grown since he’s had short hair.
At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it.
His head seemed tiny, untethered from the mop that made him a twin to Cousin It.
But when we got home and he turned and looked back at me,
standing there in the sun on our deck, I saw
my 4 or 6 or 8 year old son but with a man’s face.
Warm fragments of discarded moments,
the ones that had seemed lost forever,
came rushing back.
Such a beautiful feeling!
But the boy had only returned
to become acquainted with an older self.
A deeper-voiced version
that looks the same, but not quite.
And who doesn’t act the same at all,
except for sharing a similar caring disposition and unflappable spirit
that had grown harder to notice in-between the loud fake burps and
screeches and all that hair.
That thick, long, unruly hair
that covered his face like a mask or a shield.
No hair to hide behind.
Now, a face.
Such a beautiful face!
I try not to stare, but it’s hard
not to look and marvel at what I’m witnessing:
time passing.
Then he notices me and stares back,
flaring his eyes and sticking out his tongue.
A boy again, but not for long.