Bruce Guernsey "For My Wife Cutting My Hair"
You move around me expertly like the good, round
Italian barber I went to in Florence,
years before we met, his scissors
a razor he sharpened on a belt.
But at first when you were learning, I feared
for my neck, saw my ears like sliced fruit
on the newspapered floor. Taking us back in time,
you cleverly clipped my head in a flat-top.
The years in between were styles no one had ever seen,
or should see again: when the wind rose
half my hair floated off in feathers,
the other half bristling, brief as a brush.
In the chair, almost asleep, I hear the bright
scissors dancing. Hear you hum, full-breasted as Aida,
carefully trimming the white from my temples,
so no one, not even I, will know.
This poem is about a husband and wife, and their journey in the wife cutting the husbands hair. She walks around him like an expert, and the speaker relates her to a barber from Florence. When the wife started doing the husbands hair however, this was not the case. The husband was fearful for his ears and neck for that they would be cut up when she was finished with him. He came out from under her blades with different styles of haircuts, some that should never see the light of day again. Now, after years of bad haircuts, the wife is very good at cutting his hair and the husband is comfortable with her doing it. The reason why I chose this poem is because my fiancé wants me to cut his hair all the time. I am so nervous to do it because I have no idea what I am doing. I imagine, like this poem, I will become better at it over time.