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Haircut for a Handful

01443 means it’s handful
Calling from a phonebox.
In this case, it’s 5am
And she’s ringing to tell me
She’s cut her own hair.
I go back to bed, but by 8.30,
I’m driving up the A470,
A route I know so well now
I could do it with my eyes closed
Or blind drunk, or both.
It turns out Karen’s done
A good job of the fringe,
But the back’s a bit untidy,
So later that day,
Back in Cardiff,
Basically with my bank balance in mind,
And because I don’t really know anywhere else,
I suggest I take her to Harry’s Barbers up the road –
It’s only the back needs trimming after all, I think –
And thankfully, handful’s happy with this,
It’d be unusual, she says.
Apart from young mums
Bringing in their bundles of joy,
Women are rarely seen at Harry’s,
But once they’ve got over the shock
Of the prospect of cutting a woman’s hair,
And with a few words from handful,
They get on with the job,
I go out for cigarettes and the Echo.

I soon discover there’s a reason
Women don’t go to gent’s hairdressers.
It’s not the constant talk of football,
The strewn about copies of The Sun,
The general untidiness, or even the smell,
It’s the simple fact that they can’t cut women’s hair.
I come back to find half of handful’s hair on the floor
And plans to grow a bob out the window.
The “stylist” had decided to give Karen,
You guessed it, a short back and sides.
Atop of that resembles an unfinished poem –
Ie. a crumpled up piece of paper.
Thankfully, handful’s still smiling,
And as long as she’s happy, all is OK.
I pay, we get out of there,
And we stroll back hand in hand
In the warm Autumn air
With our almost-matching hair.