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I had a haircut today
After a long delay
My prison hair had grown so long
I thought it was full of lice
It looked thoroughly unkempt
A barber my jailers refused
So I did it just my way.

And oh, when I was done
You’d think I’d been visited
By a carpenter rude and crude
Or that an army of mice
Had raided my lovely head.

I could not stand the mirror
It told a tale of horror
But what I most feared
Was my aged mum would dream
I’d had this grisly haircut
As once before she had
And came upbraiding me
‘Cause I looked like a convict
A disgrace to her proud womb.


DETENTION HAIRCUT Copyright © 2017 by Text, letters and images: Copyright © 2013 John Paul II Library, Maynooth University, Republic of Ireland. Ken Saro-Wiwa’s poems: © 2013 Ken Saro-Wiwa Estate. All Rights Reserved.

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