Boy With His Hair Cut Short
SUNDAY shuts down on this twentieth-century evening.
The L passes. Twilight and bulb define
the brown room, the overstuffed plum sofa,
the boy, and the girl's thin hands above his head.
A neighbor radio sings stocks, news, serenade.
He sits at the table, head down, the young clear neck exposed,
watching the drugstore sign from the tail of his eye;
tattoo, neon, until the eye blears, while his
solicitous tall sister, simple in blue, bending
behind him, cuts his hair with her cheap shears.
The arrow's electric red always reaches its mark,
successful neon! He coughs, impressed by that precision.
His child's forehead, forever protected by his cap,
is bleached against the lamplight as he turns head
and steadies to let the snippets drop.
Erasing the failure of weeks with level fingers,
she sleeks the fine hair, combing: 'You'll look fine tomorrow!
You'll surely find something, they can't keep turning you down;
the finest gentleman's not so trim as you!' Smiling, he raises
the adolescent forehead wrinkling ironic now.
He sees his decent suit laid out, new-pressed,
his carfare on the shelf. He lets his head fall, meeting
her earnest hopeless look, seeing the sharp blades splitting,
the darkened room, the impersonal sign, her motion,
the blue vein, bright on her temple, pitifully beating.
Muriel Rukeyser's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Boy With His Hair Cut Short by Muriel Rukeyser )
- Organized supports is a prison., Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
- No more pregnancy, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
- Grace Me, Michael McParland
- 168., John Westlake
- The Stuff We Are Made Of., Tony Adah
- remembering the wedding Anniversary.., veeraiyah subbulakshmi
- Fishing For An Appropriate Taste, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- Let us not be, hasmukh amathalal
- Is Life?, Neela Nath
- Star Tree, douglas scotney
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
- Heather Burns
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)