The Poet Community

Cost of Poverty Very High | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Old barber shop
in a neighborhood
never posh now poor.

A single chair with
an ancient barber
revered for 40 years.

Old customers
returned for trims
and briefings on

the neighborhood
where they grew up
and went to school.

Old barber had no register,
kept money in a drawer,
singles, fives, and tens, not

many but in perfect order.
One day a stranger came
but didn’t want a trim.

A regular found the barber.
His drawer was empty on
the last day he cut hair.

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