POEM OF THE DAY
There is a parent’s pang of sadness behind the little boy’s first proper haircut, the snipped golden locks having been also something that bound him to his childish past, now opening up to vistas of independence. Paul Henry’s lines come from Poems That Make Grown Women Cry (Simon and Schuster UK, £9.99) and are playwright Stephanie Dale’s choice.
Silent as cut hair falling and elevated by cushions in the barber’s rotating chair the seven-year-old begins to see a different boy in the mirror, glances up, suspiciously, like a painter checking for symmetry, The scissors round a bend behind a blushing ear.
And when the crime is done, when the sun lies in its ashes a new child rises out of the blond, unswept curls, the suddenly serious chair that last year was a roundabout.
All the way back to the car a stranger picks himself out in a glass-veiled identity parade.
Turning a corner his hand slips from mine like a final, forgotten strand snipped from its lock.