Image: Hair with Scissors
'Hillary Clinton has gone back to nature',
somebody mentioned on a blog.
I forget where I saw it.
Perhaps it wasn't a blog,
perhaps a newspaper said it.
a woman's age and her appearance,
are always worthy of a snide remark.
I don't want to go back to nature,
my old face cannot take the weight of it.
The girls at the hairdresser's are young,
they look the part, beauticians,
polished, licked and smooth of face.
No beauties, though,
their faces emptied of intelligence and humour
boyfriends and babies, last night's reality tv,
are topics of their conversation.
My temporary girl,
a raven's plumage on her head, pink cheeks,
a missing chin and vacant eyes,
attempts to turn my rat's tails into a Roman helmet,
while what I wanted was a simple, quite old-fashioned 'bob'.
Highlights and lowlights she can manage,
my grey is nicely hidden,
but while she cuts and snips and layers,
her blank gaze swivels from my head,
as if controlled by magnets,
to moving shapes beyond the windows,
huddled against the rain,
and I resign myself to being made to look like
someone other than myself.
The mirror she holds up confirms my fears,
my head is smooth and shiny, the helmet fixed in place.
She smiles at me, 'that's better'. I nod weakly.
I pay her, tip her (why, she hardly even tried to please me).
'Five weeks' ?, she asks.
I gather all my courage, ask 'when will my girl be back'?
I feel so mean, I hesitate, not wishing to offend her.
'Not for a while', she says, her face fixed on the pages of the diary.
'What is a while' I ask, a little braver now.
'A long whi-yelle' she says, two syllables, the emphasis on 'yelle'.
I slip my card into its slot, and close my diary.
'I'll ring you, round about five weeks', I say.
A coward to the end.
Go back to nature? Maybe a thought to bear in mind.