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I Shave

Grégory Pierrot


It is ten in the morning

A morning in and I shave my father


Eyes closed and lips a-quiver

Quivering lids and downturned lips


I scythe tough hair in ancient paths

Worried paths bending at the corners


Scrape shallow trenches of their brush

Brush scraps off smooth and shiny scars


Skin taut on cheeks like tent canvas

Siege canvas stiff in the dead of winter


Chin frozen in a rounded breach

Breach picked with specks of ever snow


I was fourteen he says once more

The first time that I ever shaved

And now

Well now


No longer share his memories

Anecdotes polished to a sheen

Sea glass bereft of cloud or spleen

Great altars built of vagaries

The time the GIs marched through town

The helmet that could not be found

The fast retreating enemies


All standing much too close to reach


Bumbling through stubborn stubble

Barbarian barber near the bed


We say little we speak of naught

We pay no mind to staggered thought


To TV blaring out scandals

Spun slowly into madrigals

Rising in low waves through white noise


Looking at different nothings


We confirm my name

Each in turn


My daughter’s name

Once more we learn


And then remember that we know

Basking in slightly peppered glow


My work here just about done

In time for the 10:15 show

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