Joan McBride

He liked Gillette Blades and

an every-day close shave.

Yet a bear-pelt of hair erupted

from his starched t-shirts and

beard-curls crawled en masse

from his earlobes like brain cilium.

On weekends I would often wake

to the staccato claps from his scared hands

slapping on Aqua Velva.

The morning routine:

shave, slap, cereal for breakfast,

off to work, full-shifts, seven days a week.

On rare vacation days,


he shaved twice.

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