Ten Minutes or So

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a poem based on something I inadvertently overheard while waiting my turn in a barbershop. You never know when life's most poetic moments are going to occur.

Submitted: January 09, 2010

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Submitted: January 09, 2010



There’s me waiting,
and one other guy already in the barber’s chair.
The man in the barber’s chair is old.
He’s old enough to wear Velcro sneakers in the winter
or sandals with socks in the summer,
and not be laughed at or made fun of.
It’s only me, him, and the barber.

The man is old enough
so that when I hear a curse,
when I hear the word fuck,
I inadvertently look up from the copy of National Geographic
that I’m not reading
and stare in his direction.

“When my wife died,”
the old man is saying,
“a couple people wanted to say stuff
at the funeral mass in church,
for like, you know, ten minutes,
and the fucking Bishop wouldn’t let ‘em
cause he said it would take too long. Ten minutes!
Fifty years not worth ten fucking minutes!”

That’s what he said.
It’s the sources of the curse word.
It’s what causes me to inadvertently look up,
and to stare in the old man’s direction.

He turns red with anger,
and the veins on his bald head pop out to near bursting
in places where the barber isn’t cutting any hair,
but where he’s pretending to cut hair,
while the man continues to talk of fucking holy men
and the contrast of ten minutes to fifty years.

I go back to not reading last month’s National Geographic;
take my cell phone out of my pocket and check the time.
I wait for my turn in the barber’s chair,
and I wonder if I’ll have only ten minutes
or so.


© Copyright 2020 WriterMike730. All rights reserved.

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