Poetry Uncategorized Written Works

Ray by Sarah Kuhns

I could probably walk there blindfolded for someone who doesn’t have much sense of direction.
I can see it now.
The tinted barber's pole sat slightly below the sign outside.
Red, white, and blue swirls.
The sign either read “Ray’s” or simply “Barber”- I do not remember.
I do remember, however, the slow-motion swinging of the door opening.
Jingle bells daintily chime from the handle.
The fading street sounds gradually transition into offbeat rockabilly music.
The smell of rich tobacco and pomade.
And the feeling of the warm sun through the window on the back of my Sunday dress.
My mother often took my brother to get his hair cut after church.
His Barber was named Ray…
like the sun.
And he possessed a golden charm.
He had olive skin.
His hair was dark and slicked back like Elvis or James Dean.
Never. A hair out of place.
He’d smile and wink at me, creating instant blushes and chuckles.
I can picture my brother sitting in the big silver chair, his body entirely covered by one of those big barber aprons.
His brown eyes peering up.
As Ray cut my brother's hair, he would start to hum.
It wouldn’t be long until a soft, flawless whisper would grace the barbers’ lips.
Perfect pitch.
Matching whatever 50’s tune that came crackling off the record player.
As I waited, I would thumb through stacks of black and white Archie comics,
-accompanied by the occasional action comic, the kind with the old toy ads in the back.
And once the haircut was over.
The finale-
a delicate tassel of hair.
For our good behavior, we were awarded our choice of various colored lollipops-
the small kind, with the little rope loop as a handle.
I can still remember the taste of the tangy, yellow lemon.
As gold as the day itself.