when parker was dakotas age –
a tad over 2
i took him to the palisades mall to get a crew cut
nick was the barber

old world italy
with a beautiful accent
that matched his warm wonderful soul
for 17 years he cut my sons hair

he died this summer
his daughter told me via twitter
– modern day obits

parker hasn’t had a hair cut since
not knowing where to go
he let it grow

sunday i took my 4 teens
to the mall
we agreed
it was time for a trim

all eyes in the place watched us
as we walked in
a family

there in nicks station was a new guy
with an empty chair
as joni says
“get a good grip on your grief”

some nodded
holding back tears
broken heartbeats
all around

we were nicks
he was ours
parker shook the new barbers hand
man to man

a 3 year old boy
with a blonde crew cut
walked up to nicks replacement
and said excuse me

he handed the barber his tip
his dad watched proudly
near the cashier
– as i had so many times

i took a photo
because i had to
parker trapped under the plastic gown
protested in vain

it was irresistible
my adult man child
sitting in the red leather chair
– rockwell poster perfection

there r moments of pure grace
when all u need
inside ur world

of all esther hicks says
we do create r reality
the law of attraction

joni mitchell called me tonight
and we spoke

29 Responses to 'amen'

  1. Marie LaB says:

    How fast they grow…these are the memories…trying to grasp and hold on tight..time. never standing still

  2. Christy S says:

    This poem touches me – I recently lost my mother, and I really identify with the part about being frozen and not knowing what to do. The poem reminds me of one of my very faviorite songs…”Ament” by Jen Foster 🙂

    • Christy S says:

      “Amen” – not Ament…how does autocorrect change a perfectly good word to a word that doesn’t even exist? Blah…

  3. You know Ro. I’ve been around dozens of hi-profilers. Hell dozens of dozens but for some reason you’re always stuck in my mind. Barbara Ann Messina from Staten Island has cut my hair for over a decade. Recently, since I am so rarely around a crowd, I let the curly locks grow long. I’ve always had a sentimental relationship with those who cut my hair. Barber shop trips with Grandpa, mom’s friend Margaret or my pal Teresa from East Meadow, it’s 20 minutes every few weeks with a friend…

  4. Theresa says:

    My son also goes to an old school Italian barber. Louis. This was a beautiful poem about life and how it all goes in a blink of an eye. As moms we all connect as we give our children a different childhood story then the one we may have had. #love #complicated #bigfamilies #Irish

  5. Jet says:

    Our sons are the same age. We did well. Both good men our babies forever. First born sons.

  6. April says:

    ester hicks is right sometimes hard to remember!! Thank you for shareing

  7. Sandy Aguiar says:

    You’re such a beautiful writer.

  8. Adeline Orosco says:

    I am a hairstylist my self we get so connected to all our clients and their life’s i so feel your pain from the past barber ! It’s so said when it’s our clients and they pass it’s a hard thing for us we always think of everyone as part of your little family! That’s why I love my job!❤️

  9. Colleen724 says:

    You are a beautiful writer. Your writing touches my soul – you write what I can not articulate but can only feel. Any chance you’ll be writing another book?

  10. Laura says:

    Beautifully, beautifully said. Moments like this you don’t forget. And then life continues on.

    …And talking to Joni……her music and lyrics had the most profound influence on my life of them all….just finished the book by Malka Marom. Oh how I love that woman.

    Thanks for this.

  11. MaimiBabe says:


  12. Laurie Fiorante says:

    Wow…that was so touching. So beautifully written. I felt your emotion. Amen

  13. Donna Hughes says:

    I have such a lump in my throat, what a beautiful poem. Nick was ours too, my boys are 18 and 21. Nick cut their hair all their life and he always made sure to send a lollipop home to “Grandma and Grandpa.

    We didn’t find out he passed until one day we went to the mall and when we saw he wasn’t there we expected the girl at the desk to tell us he would be back in two weeks like she had done a few times before. We cried in the elevator and called my parents to share our grief.


  14. Patty says:

    this has nothing to do with your poem I just wanted to comment that when I was watching the view yesterday I saw you speaking with a 95-year-old women, Lottie and my heart was so touched at how you are able to break down barriers and speak to old people like that it shows how much respect you have for them and that u recognize the importance in the stories of history they carry inside them that really need to be shared with the world… Showed ur beautiful soul it did….

  15. kris says:

    I know you are beyond busy. But wow are you such an amazing writer. You have so many stories to tell and the way you portray them is incredible. Waiting for your next book.
    Thank you for sharing your life.

  16. Jessica says:

    As I sit here cuddling my 2 year old son, your post left a tear in my eye. It all goes by so fast. I, too, try to find the grace in those everyday moments. Thanks for sharing!

  17. suzy says:

    oops waved goodbye

  18. suzy says:

    My son’s1st barber was so dear. Son sat calm waiting w/a newspaper in lap-like the other men did although he was only 2. When he got in the chair he didn’t like the idea & started to cry-that dear man followed him around the shop trimming whenever my son stopped-until he realized it didn’t hurt & sat. When it was over they were best friends-son smiled w/arms folded-that wasn’t so bad. All captured in photos. My favorite shot-my son looking into the window at Bryce the barber as he…

  19. Chris says:

    Bawling remembering my own little boys in those barber chairs. Sorry for your loss.

  20. Maura says:

    Beautiful! Amen

  21. Shoshannah Smyser says:

    Bawling. Death. Life. Growing. Poor Parker. Sweet little tipper boy. Red seats. Always change lives. I’ve never listened to Joni Mitchell. I wonder what it sounds like? I wonder if my mom or sister liked her? Amen.

  22. Lynn Marie says:

    Rosie what memories this brought back to me. I was a single parent and used to bring my little boy- who is 35 now- to a Old style barber shop with an an old Italian guy named Joe& a sidekick named chickie..he too always made the visits special and as a lady I got to see a part of a guy’s world usually a father handles..I am Irish Catholic like you and boy I loved that old Italian man for how he helped my son and I..He is long gone now but thanks for reminding me of a great man and memory.

  23. Erin Clough says:

    Getting a grip on my grief of losing my mom and so many other things has been resurfaced as my biggest of 4 boys went off to college. He took himself for a haircut when he came home this weekend. Then I posted a picture of all 4 boys. He looks like me people say. I’m just proud!

  24. Bren says:

    Beatifully said!

  25. Wonderful. Hope Broadway is going well. Missing you on the view Ro.

  26. Kassi says:

    Your childhood was void of such touching moments, I imagine. As was mine, and so many, many children left to grow up, knowing nothing, except one thing. When we have children, we will be different. Bravo, to a fellow sad little girl, who shook off the darkness and created the beginnings of a our own definition of what we see as family.

  27. Rita O'Connor says:

    The circle of life,gut wrenching @ Times,rewarding @ others…it’s what we take away from it and what we do with it to mold and become the next Nick or Parker …AMEN!