Most of that day is blurred. Shimmers in and out
like an old film, stuck in the projector
until it blurs in disintegration.
Having her haircut sticks;
A small turret room. Straight-backed chair.
Queue of new girls twisting down spiral stairs.
Gingham dresses segmenting the line.
In coloured, caterpillar slices.
She sits, tresses bottom-length. Shining.
Never cut before, except for fine ends
that feathered like fledglings wings.
Shiny-shoed feet swung in agitation
inches above the floor. Her hands placed firmly in her lap,
under an adult sized wrap that held her
in straight-jacket firmness. It seemed to take an age
for the scissors to bite away her protection, refuge.
Her very girl-essence. To leave her bowl-headed.
Cold at the nape. Shaved to bristle just above.
Newly chilled. Vulnerable in her exposure.
A brush swept her shoulders. Dug down
beneath a soft white collar. The barber remained silent.
Gave only a cursory nod. Ushered her away.
As she left, a girl asked why all those coming out
Miki Byrne is the author of three poetry collections and has had work included in over 160 poetry magazines and anthologies. She finds inspiration in many places, finds the world fascinating and lives in Gloucestershire.
Photograph courtesy of www.publicdomainpictures.net