The shop is wedged
between two whitewashed glass storefronts
in a mall that did not survive.
Nobody comes here —
and the barbershop lodged in the middle.
The barber sits all day in the fat chair,
and smokes Luckies.
In the parking lot
the yellow lines have faded
and the storm has swallowed the barber’s car.
When I was a child
my father would bring me here.
He and the barber would laugh and drink,
and I would sit in the chair,
a mirror in front, a mirror in back,
and count the reflections of my self.
Years later I bring my son to the barber.
He is an old man, happy,
makes me a drink,
My son sits in the chair between the mirrors,
says it’s like watching the barber go far away,
getting smaller and smaller and smaller
as he goes.
– John L. Stanizzi