by Robert W. King
The snow, the barber said, would make it hard
at the graveside later that afternoon,
that far away, streets already blurring.
I’d be the last, he’d close the shop, he’d take
the camera, the family not together for—
he didn’t know how long.
As my hair got trimmed, I thought I’d think
all afternoon of the cemetery,
the mourners arrived over dangerous
beautiful roads, some final photograph,
an open tent arched over an open grave.
Instead, I saw the look of the dark shop
closed, its spiral of red and white, the ribbon
of blood curling under our skin,
stopped in its continual returning.
~ first published in Green Hills Literary Lantern