Snip Snip


Snip Snip

I remember my first haircut
I was seated on my living room floor,
As my mother gathered a scissors and razor blade,
This awkward procedure was drowned by sounds of the TV show,
gladiators playing in the background ,
The gladiators competed against each other,
Whilst simultaneously my African Hair battled with the comb,
My mother had little or no technique,
Her razor blade cut my hair to the scalp
Leaving my crown feeling naked,
I can honestly say that my,
head started resemble the shape of marbles I once collected,

“Egg head … ET”
These where merely some of the names that where awaiting me at school
It was if a swarm of moths where drawn to a light bulb,
My head seemed to attract the attention of my peers,
Chuckling at the angles of my head shape,
I was forced to bite my tongue waiting for my hair to grow back again,

I longed for Nike ticks and patterns
These patterns where received positively by my peers,

It was fascinating to observe the discourse in the playground,
They analysed the sharpness of a shape up to the smooth transition of a fade.

I felt, I had to go the barbers,
The Appearance of my hair was a driving force to seeking acceptance

I remember going to the barbers for the first time,
My hands clutched onto my mothers leg as I hid behind her,
The barber shop had no tv transmitting episodes of gladiators,
But speakers echoing the sounds of
Hip hop and reggae infused with the occasional yell from the radio Dj,
The barber smiled at me with one glistening gold tooth,
He spoke to me with a strong Caribbean accent, which I could barely understand,
I sat in the chair

he presented me with a catalogue of choice,
I chose the number one.

The razor vibrated my skull
Snip snip…
The scissors hovered above me like a fly circling a slab of dung,

The barber hummed to sounds of Beres Hammond,
He told stories to the other customers of a better life back home,
He spoke passionately about how the UK government dislikes black people,
And how we need to unite,
Because they divide us,

He looked at my reflection in the mirror as he spoke about, looking after our future,
“For it’s the young that will fix and drive this sinking ship,”

He continued to cut away
Snip snip
Snip snip

I recall bible study
Hearing the story of Samson,
A man of God who had the strength to defeat a lion,
His power came from his crown,
His hair was a symbol of his strength,

I wanted to be Samson like,
This was my hope of standing out,
I dreamed of being celebrated for my strength,
My hair was going to be a symbol of the power within me

I assembled Afro pics and hair remedies
I wanted twisted cornrows like R Kelly,
Believing I can one day fly into the hearts of anyone that met me,

Unfortunately my hair never grew.

Well it grew
but i expected my hair to grow as high of a field of wheat,
but in reality i was stuck with a rose bush,
the thickness of my hair made the possible task of growth an overbearing feat,

I take a moment of silence for the lost teeth of the combs that battled with my hair.
The battled valiantly

I had to go back to the barbers

Snip snip

As years transitioned
Hair evolved from Nike ticks,
to mow hawks and fades
Adapting to changing trends
My hair represented what was going on inside of me
and the outside world,

Snip snip

Hair was lost monthly as my age developed,
I started to wonder more about my African heritage,
Consciousness grew more
but hair was lost,

Snip snip

Black people are being shot,
Killed like calves
slaughtered by police,
My attention was fixated on the news,
I forgot to cut my hair

I once forgot about my people,

Distracted by things of no substance,
I became a shallow being,
Witnessing people drown in front of me
I felt like a man dying of thirst
Watching another man drown
My responsibility was to consume more,
So I can have knowledge to feed others

One month,
Two months

Months passed
My hair grew
my hair started to interlock
Combining who I am with what’s inside of me,
I walked with confidence,
It was if I was a lion with a mane,
My mane danced as it was brushed by the wind formed by the mountains,,
My confidence was unmatched,

I was adamant that world needed
a shape up
Forgetting  I needed a shape up first.

So I finally returned to the barbers

Snip snip

Another black man drops

Snip snip

Another black man is stopped

Snip snip

The razor drops another piece of hair,
Each chunk piles on the dirty floor,
As the man in the chair gazes at the loss of him,

I peer
I peer at the reflection to see a line of my peers,
The black men sat next to me,
Waiting …
What are they waiting for?
Do they wait for a box top fade or a sharp shape up?
They wait…
The room plays some sounds as the line of men bop their head to a beat of some broken vowels,
Their heads are taking in words that make no sense
But make some sense to those that have no sense

So they are blind,
can’t touch nor taste bullshit that they consume,
My brothers wake up!

Another chunk of hair drops,

To think this once hair stood so high with grace revealing the roots of the man who never knew who he was.
For we once seen as royalty,
Empires of melanin and locks,
Respected across the planet,

Now we live in council houses and prison cells,
We have become Ignorant to what we once where,

My brothers
Wake up!
Another chunk of hair drops

I urge you to stand tall,
Stand tall, like an un-tampered Afro,
Feed your crowns with books
For they are like the caster oil for the mind,
Supplying ourselves with nutrients to grow,

For we where once kings
like Samson your hair is a reflection of who you are,

My brothers I urge you to grow,
And not end up like the hair follicles laying dormant on the barbershop floor,

Make your mind is as tight and as sharp as your shape up,

Remember this
So you will not get Snipped,
dropped and brushed away…