Barber Shop

when I was little
my daddy would take me with him
to Reynolds Barber Shop –
on East Market Street right in the middle
of A&T before redevelopment
(it was a rite of passage, I suppose).

We’d be there for hours, it seemed,
waiting our turn for Mr. Mebane’s chair.

Daddy knew Mr. Mebane from Mt. Tabor –
a small black community on Greensboro’s west end
where Daddy used to live – he was our barber.

I would fall asleep watching
men getting their “processes” done
in the end chair by the Coca-Cola machine.
That barber was skinny, frail.

Mr. Mebane’s chair was in the middle.
I still remember not really understanding
the jokes the older men would share.
I would ask Daddy to explain it to me later.


Author: Raymond Maxwell Librarian, archivist, retired foreign service officer and Navy veteran.

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