Diane Seuss

Hey Pauly

it was the barber and the undertaker who got into the heart
of the village earlier than even the firemen and the pharmacist
the barber would call hey pauly that's what he called paul
the undertaker and they'd head for marge taylor's place

for coffee and maybe a poached egg or a fried cake
thrown hot into a paper bag with some sugar and then
marge would shake it and stick her hand down in and lift
it out and present it to them like a magic trick it was said

the barber had the eye for her his own wife home scaling
fish or picking the pinfeathers out of a goose or washing
the storm windows with white vinegar bye pauly the barber
would say as they parted on the street each to face his own

kind of work and although they were such good friends
the undertaker never asked the barber to style the hair
of the dead but he came in every two weeks for a shave
and a trim and never paid nor did he charge the barber's

widow for his services a few years later the washing
and the dressing and the steel comb through what hair
was left. that's how things worked out between them.

Poem Submitted: Friday, June 27, 2014

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