Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! Something For The Weekend? (2) - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Friday mornings:

As I follow Eric the barber to the pay counter,
feeling scraped and trimmed and scented and almost younger,
we slip into a familiar ritual,
a little touch of theatre
which takes us briefly out of ourselves
or perhaps even into ourselves a little,
come to think of it:

'Something for the weekend, sir? '

He doesn't say this sotto voce like the other barbers,
but rather louder than normal
in his ex-actor's voice
to draw the whole shop into this moment of performance
and assure any new customers
that no offence is intended.
The joke is of course my advanced age.
You might call it post-everything irony.
But there's just a touch of respect there too.

His young assistant Rob
who's giving expert attention to the young guy in the other chair,
with that intimate proficiency which the young
now bestow on the grooming of their peers,
but who doesn't miss a beat,
rolls his eyes heavenward at this sally
though this stale camp mannerism
can't quite hide his affection for his employer.
He gives me a quick glance of acknowledgement
across the chasm of age.

These little routines and rituals and performances
give shape to the week.

But hanging unvoiced in the air
is the knowledge
that one more rent rise and it's curtains for this establishment.
That is the stage direction
that is not spoken in the script.


Comments about ! Something For The Weekend? (2) by Michael Shepherd

  • (3/19/2005 10:04:00 AM)

    great poem, michael: tender and kind.
    ulrike
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/19/2005 8:21:00 AM)

    I was transported. This is wonderful, Michael, with a poignant final verse.
    Chrissie
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/19/2005 7:59:00 AM)

    I can smell the lotion and spent after shave

    Rusty
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 3 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: irony, respect, shopping, rose



Poem Submitted: Saturday, March 19, 2005

Poem Edited: Friday, October 5, 2007


Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]