Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Trio of Short Haircut Poems

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Michelle at Today's Little Ditty for what's sure to be a wonderful Roundup. And to all the moms, stepmoms, grandmoms, honorary moms, fur-baby moms, garden moms, whatever-moms... thank you for the love you give the world!

Before I get to today's ArtSpeak: RED poems, I want to invite you to a Facebook Live Book Launch happening tomorrow 1:00 pm at Alabama Booksmith, a wonderful indie bookstore in Birmingham that specializes in signed first editions. Both Karim Shamsi-Basha and I will be there signing books, and we'd love to sign one for YOU! Plus you can support a great bookseller during this difficult time. Win-win!

AND... yesterday I posted a video of me reading "Cloud Nine" from NINE... and it includes a shout-out to my 3rd grade teacher Jo Ellen Fattig (Lewis Elementary, Ft. Meade, FL), whose name appears in the book, and whom I would love to locate!

So... thanks to the pandemic, folks everywhere have been experimenting with home haircuts. There's a lot of trust involved in cutting someone's hair and in allowing someone to cut your hair, isn't there? And there are quite a few haircut poems in the world, which made this a bit of a bugger to write about... but I was determined to write in response to this piece of art, which I first found on Tabatha's blog. Thanks, Tab! (As much as I love that red kerchief, it didn't make its way into any of my poems.)


Scary Haircut

Comb has teeth,
scissors have fangs --
Mama uses both
when she cuts my bangs.

Bad Haircut

A little nip here
A snip-snip there
A comb and a brush
and a shave and a shear –
wait – where's my hair?

Puppy Cut

Sometimes while Sugar is sleeping
I comb and scissor, brush and fluff –
shhhhhh... it's a secret I'm keeping.

- Irene Latham


  1. Love your trio of haircut poems! And, how perfect that they are "short." Ha! And, it's wonderful to hear your voice reading 'Cloud Nine.' I'm adding the facebook book launch to my calendar right now. I'll be meeting with students at 1:30 so I will only catch the beginning...but, yay! I really look forward to reading your book. I'm loving the reviews.

  2. Love the "teeth and fangs" and 'Puppy Cut' is a delight as is that painting. I had a student in my early first grade teaching that when I finally figured out I should check everyone's desks (those top up kind), I found her desk full of hair! It was not a parent phone call I wanted to make, but I did. I imagine many have some kind of haircut stories & adding many in these days! Thanks, Irene & Happy Mother's Day!

  3. All three of your poems are charming, Irene (great painting too)! Yes, home haircuts can be very scary. So far, I've managed with barrettes and scrunchies.

    And Congrats on those five glorious starred reviews for Cat Man of Aleppo!! Happy book launch tomorrow and thanks for the video of "Cloud Nine." You are amazing!

  4. Fun poems, Irene! I've always been pretty adventurous and trusting when it comes to home haircuts, but I think I've given more than I've gotten, so maybe you'd have to ask my "victims." Ha! I especially love your Puppy Cut pairing. :)

  5. As I sit here feeling like a woolly mammoth your haircut poems are extremely timely Irene. I feel some hairy inspiration beginning to swirl around in my head. Thanks for sharing these little poems that clip along nicely. Best wishes for the book launch.

  6. Hello my lovely Irene! It is always pure joy to see you/hear you. Hoping you find your special teacher and get to share how much she has meant to you. Loving your haircut poems. Cue the memories of my bad haircut (thank-you slightly bigger brother) my youngest's self-styled cut... and the day the clipper guide fell of when I was cutting my eldest's. The good thing about hair is that it does grow back! (Which is why I also had some fun giving the boys mohawks and checkers, many years ago.) Keep smiling, lovely! xx

  7. HA! Short poems, or short haircuts...or both?!?! Love the wordplay. I've been happy for this (we'll call it an) opportunity to go ahead and grow my hair back out a little longer and go back to a little straighter. I'm also feeling quite smug that I've never colored out my grey, so I don't have the secret's-out (or self-coloring) woes of some of my friends!!

  8. What fun poems Irene, and yes so many of us are cutting others hair… My daughter has asked me to cut her hair, and my son will have his girlfriend cut his–hoping that one goes well. Your FB event on Saturday was a treasure, glad to have been there–virtually! Thanks, xo

  9. What a wonderful poem video, Irene! I love it! And your haircut poems are so funny! I still have PTSD from childhood haircuts my mom gave me (and all my sisters). Tragic. Maddie cut Randy's hair a few weeks ago. We are all looking a little shaggy. Can't wait to read NINE!

  10. Oh, the haircut poems! Love them. I have written one myself, now that I think about it. Haha. Thanks so much for these. They brought a smile! And your reading video is lovely and the book looks gorgeous. Be proud!!!


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