On You Shaving Every Morning

Kelly R. Samuels


The lather & the bowl & the sharp edge
of that. This tending & attention. The rough
stubble no more. Smooth, smooth as a baby’s bottom – 
what my grandmother said – the rose’s petal in hand,
the cupped cheek of her youngest. 

Lean down & kiss me tenderly & leave
no mark. Is what I would say years ago. Now, not. Knowing
the task is not done for me, as the shirt ironed is not, nor
the careful brushing of hair. 

A woman I knew told me once:
Watch yourself when they start caring again.

In the spotted mirror you peer at yourself & 
what you are sure another will see. & then you turn & wish
me a good day, & leave. 


Kelly R. Samuels lives and works as an adjunct English instructor in the upper Midwest. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net, and has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including Burningword, The Summerset Review, Kestrel, The Carolina Quarterly, Rappahannock Review, Construction, and Common Ground Review.

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