Thereís something wonderfully sweet about a
wife cutting a husbandís hair, and Bruce Guernsey, who lives
in Illinois and Maine, captures it beautifully in this poem.
—TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
poem from American
Life in Poetry
by 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.