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Julia Darling, from Sudden Collapses in Public Places

Vanity

One day my hairdresser will be an old woman,
her hands leathery from grease, her teeth yellow.

Will I notice as I too shall be old and battered?
Will I still totter to her salon above the travel agents?

Will we strain to see each other in the misted glass?
Shall we still speak hopefully of shape and style?

Or will we be wordless, knowing that the usual
will do? That I'm there to feel the wash

of warm water down my neck, the stroke of fingers,
to be snipped and tidied like a pensioner's garden?

When will it end, this preening and spraying?
This holding the mirror to the back of my head?