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by Michael Escoubas
There wasn't much money
for small things in the 1950s.
Dad's welding and repair business
paid the bills, but that's about all.
Come the end of May along
about Memorial Day, my brothers
and I were long overdue. Unshorn,
our curls fell gently on our collars,
like a Breck Hair Spray commercial.
All the girls looked on us with envy.
They would have killed to get our curls.
Our buddies, the lucky ones, already
had their summer cuts—
the West Point look that featured
a burr in back with a small shock
of curl smack in the middle-forehead.
Each West Point cost a quarter,
a lot of money back then—
how refreshing the scented talc felt
when old Gabe soft-brushed our necks,
how clean and cool and new we felt
when May breezes kissed our naked heads.