An Ode to the Haircut

How incredibly lucky
one must be
to get a haircut
more than two
even three times a year.
Once before Christmas,
I lied to my mom
about taking care
of myself and eating
fresh fruit
and no
I haven’t
eaten ramen
for six straight days;
I also ate
store brand everything.
I’d even eat the box, too,
if it didn’t taste
like cardboard.
When I moved
to Ohio
and got back into golf,
fairway hair
so my dad wouldn’t make fun
of how my sweat
flooded the dimples
of the Top Flite ball
I got out of the recycle bin
at Play-It-Again.
Yeah, I know,
I’m telling too much here,
but you must realize
how cheap those balls are
compared to flights
to Michigan
where all the
seem to be:
my hair
a thousand gravestones.
We planted
across from a field
of lilacs,
and her daughter
watched Fox
so you know
she wasn’t vaxxed,
but first we fired
a volley
for Jim,
who instilled in me
a love
for barber shops,
or maybe
it was
cherry pancakes
with my grandpa
who smelled like Barbasol
and Old Spice,
like my dad’s old Excursion
he sold
when gas was too high.
So I hope
he understands
why I wrote this poem
about how one day,
like my wallet
and my swing
and my family,
my fade
will be permanent.

Ryan L. Collins is a student at Wright State University, where he is pursuing a degree in English, Creative Writing. He can often be found writing poetry and turning in papers a day late. When not in school, he enjoys getting schooled at golf by his dad.

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