My dad used to cut my hair, buzzing me
as he had been buzzed. He looks like John Glenn
in a picture Mom took, bending over me
with the clippers. I’m sitting in a highchair
looking the other way. You can see
the back of my head, shaved almost to the skin.
The nape of my little neck. In high school
I wanted to look like John Lennon,
and I grew my hair as long as Dad would let me,
with faint, fuzzy sideburns–in the yearbook
I’m wearing a cross over my turtleneck,
for effect—and when I got back from England
my hair was down to my shoulders,
as long as Christ’s, though we don’t really know
what he looked like. He’s never described.
It’s so hard to believe what he told us,
that no matter how bad things get, how terrible,
not a hair on our heads will be harmed.
My brothers and I used to make fun of Dad
when he got older and let his hair grow a little,
how far down he parted it, by his left ear,
and somehow I thought I’d have to wear
mine like that, too, when I reached his age.
But I don’t. It’s still about the length
it’s always been, though it’s white now
and thinning. In a picture someone took of me
in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives,
kneeling by the stone where tradition says
Jesus knelt and prayed the cup would pass,
my face isn’t visible, just the top of my head,
and when I saw it for the first time I was
surprised at just how thin my hair is getting.
You can see all the way to my crown.