The hairdresser stands behind me,
her hands flowing over my hair.
We could be under water
in a glass tank, an exhibition
of absorption or of peace,
like the breathing of an accordion
before the first note is played.
On the worktop creams, scissors,
the steriliser hums to itself.
The hairdresser pauses, comb poised.
What are you thinking? I inquire.
She stands in stillness for a time,
then: at the moment I am thinking
of going out for a cigarette
when I am done with yourself.
She makes a last pass with the scissors
and I picture smoke ribboning
from her lips up to heaven.
If you've any thoughts about this poem, Padraig O'Morain would like to