Hair Cut

Matthew Vetter

Always I want to remember us this way:


your blade poised above my head,

me in a chair you’ve taken from the kitchen

and dragged into the back yard.


Silence, now, enough to hear

the snip, snip, snip of your scissors.


In your hands, wife, I am a string-less marionette.

You push my head this way and that.


We can’t stop disorder,

only a temporary staving is truly possible.


It is enough; cut it clean and simple,

something like our alliance, our quotidian vengeance.


Longer on top, please, and trim around the ears.

This is the way I want to remember us always.


My dull brown hair falls from your blade.

My dull brown hair looks good against the tall green grass.


Our son is next, with talk of nests.

He is sure the birds will put our hair to good use.

Nothing is wasted.


Something intricate and soft.

Something to give the tree another purpose.


Matthew Vetter's poems have appeared in regional and national literary journals including Midwest Quarterly, American Life in Poetry, The Louisville Review, and The Journal of Kentucky Studies. He is the author of a chapbook of poems, Kentucky Lullaby (Finishing Line Press, 2018). A Pushcart Prize and AWP Intro Award nominee, Vetter was the 2009 winner of the Danny Miller Memorial Award. He teaches in the English department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.