Classic Hair Designs

By Moya Cannon

Every day they are dropped off
at Classic Hair Designs,
sometimes in taxis,
sometimes by daughters,
often by middle-aged sons
in sober coats,
who pull in tight by the kerb,
stride around to the door,
and offer an arm.

How important this
almost last vestige
of our animal pelt is.
How we cherish it –
the Egyptians’ braided bob,
those banded Grecian curls,
the elaborate patterns of Africa,
the powdered, teetering pompadour,
the sixties’ long shining fall over a guitar,

and the fine halo
of my almost-blind
ninety-two-year-old neighbour,
permed and set
in the style
in which she stepped out
with her young man
after the last World War.

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