Trepidation was coursing through my body
As I approached the front door.
The spinning barber pole corkscrewed its way upward,
inviting me to come in.
This would be the first time I would allow a razor
not guided by my own hand to clean my face of
the scrubble that now existed as brush on a desert landscape.
Thoughts of the old west filled my head
As the smiling barber placed the hot towel around my face,
Eyes now covered as if to let me know that he was
In control and I should let go
Of any inhibitions I had.
Under my eyelids I could see the black of shut eyes,
As well as the lava lamp movements of color the hot towel
Generated. Or was it the Kansas summer sun
On my face in Dodge City?
Scented shave cream was applied and
Visions of Wyatt Earp, the Clanton gang
And huckleberries filled my thoughts
As the razor, sharp, removed the whiskers.
Intermittent scratching,
Scritch, scritch, scritch,
And steady barber breathing
As the blade made its way
By expert movements past my jugular,
My fate resting in strange hands.
Billy the Kid, Turkey Creek Jack Johnson,
Dust and sand dominated my thoughts.
Hope no one stole my horse.
I’ll need her when I ride to meet
Duke at the Red River.
Barber concentrating on his job,
Don’t want to knick the customer.
Me, sitting back in the chair, legs crossed at the ankle
Relaxing, with toes clenched.
Just a bead of sweat under the arms, I think.
Maybe I’ll mosey on over to the saloon
For a whiskey when I’m done.
The stage comes in at three
With a few high rollers for the Gem.
Maybe I’m in Yuma.
Maybe I’m in Deadwood.
Maybe I’m in Tombstone.
Nah, I’m in Cary, Illinois,
Getting a shave.