Untitled - Poem by Juli Watson
All the style pictures are exactly the same
Austere cat faces, blank expressions
But no one seems to notice
They are there, choosing, deciding, preferring, comparing
The dark blonde with the nutty tones, Sir?
Or the light brown with ash aspects?
That one, I point, as the pictures ripple
I taste hairspray each time you speak
The clock ticks backwards in the skirting board
The mouse on the wall twitches its whiskers
Enquiring if I brought my own towel
I am escorted off by a tall man in a tall uniform
He asks for my ticket
'I, I just wanted a haircut', I stammer, innocently
I am entangled in a beaded curtain, engulfed
It throttles me, burns my wrists
As I enter the school
The children are all singing in colours
Neatly queued in crocodile rows
They have ribbons round their waists
They wear identical shoes
Row upon row of shiny, black, round toes
They look at me expectantly but I cannot see their faces in the fog
They look too small, the hall is miles long
I cannot reach them as they fade into the distance
An elderly lady sits on a seat, knitting a cupcake and barking excitedly
I am the woman now, but how?
I am still in the hairdresser's chair, with blue foam being applied to my beard
I feel a sense of calm after the storm, but don't remember the rain
I am lost but somehow I've been here before.
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