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Natalie Lyons

It was a Tuesday, and not unusual
at all for her to cut his hair
as he sat on a kitchen chair, an old towel
draped around his broad, tanned shoulders.

His hair was silky blonde, not yet
turned mousy brown from age.
He liked to wear it long but responsibility
required the cut. We had all expected
to see him bald someday, the way blonde men go.

Under the ceiling fan light she fingered
wet hair nonchalantly, straightening and snipping,
pushing his ears forward with her thumbs,
quickly brushing the hairs caught in his eyelashes,
palming his crown, and gently pushing his head
forward to straighten the back.

She didn’t know enough to be nervous, but still
she dropped the comb a lot.
If she had only known this was to be the last
time she would touch him alive

she would have caressed each lock, snipped gently
and slowly, savoring the moment. Carefully,
she would have touched his face, memorizing
the angles and feel of it, smoothing them into her
mind, as she brushed his eyebrows carefully
with the tender tips of her fingers.