Hair 1

Snippets of hair fall away and drop upon the barber’s cape.

Snow, I think, it falls like fine snow, wispy snippets of hair

on the cape, on the floor. So white – is the other notion

that nudges my thoughts before crass reality grabs me

by the nape, upsetting the near-fantasy I’ve harboured

of manly gritty grey, or distinguished senator.

Damn, it’s white as snow. I am an old man.

Here in the barber’s chair, poignant meditation-turned-sad,

to the prayerful drone of electric clippers followed by

the percussive snip, snip, snip of shears, I already know

I must correct myself in this line of thinking because no one

uses the term barber anymore, so I am really sitting here

in my hair stylist’s chair in her salon, not in a barber shop at all;

and the woman shearing me is, I am sure, doing her very best,

handicapped only by what I have given her to work with.

But wait a minute, I don’t like the direction this snow idea

has taken… It occurs that I should be claiming to have

deliberately chosen this colour, or  lack of colour really —

protective camouflage. After all, living as we do in a land

of snow and ice, the colour allows me to move incognito

among most of my fellow townsfolk, an invisible senior

in a land of seniors, blandly undistinguished, you could say.

On second thought, going unrecognized is not unfamiliar

to a poet who tries his best to survive and make a mark

with language in a land of dissemblers we elect to office

and then have to endure for four years, as opposed

to radio talk show hosts we can always turn off.

Lack of recognition is the poet’s lot, hirsute or bald.

Colour does little to alter his invisibility.

~ Glen Sorestad

Glen Sorestad is a nationally recognized poet who has published twenty books of poetry. His work has been recognized in Europe and the United States where throughout the years he has been invited to universities and writing festivals to present it. His work with the Saskatchewan Writers Guild earned him the Guild’s Founders’ Award in 1990. In subsequent years he was recognized by the Writers Union of Canada and in 1998 the League of Canadian Poets honoured him with Life Member status. In 2000 he was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan, a post that he served until 2004, and in 2010 he was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Read more poems by Glen Sorestad here

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