One Morning at the Barbershop

by Lee Shafer

We’re waiting for my husband to finish getting his haircut when you note my swollen belly and ask, in a voice full of gravel, if it’s my first one. You tell me you and your wife never had any children and that she died twenty-two years before but that it’s your sister you really miss, and she died just four years ago. When you ask me how old I think you are I shift uncomfortably in my seat and tell you how bad I am at that sort of thing. You don’t look eighty-nine years old, though you confess to feeling it. You say that they’re all gone now, everyone you’ve ever loved, and that you’re lonely and you think God has forgotten about you. I run my hands over my pregnant belly and swallow the knot in my throat when the barber asks why you're back so soon, as you’re not even due for a trim.


Lee Shafer lives in Redondo Beach with her husband and two insanely wonderful boys. In her free time she's a writer and a jewelry designer. You can check out her blog here.