Pagosa Springs Artists

Gillette Memories


Pictured on the can is
a white pile of foam
pulled to a curl-point
like whipped crème or
frozen custard, calling
to mind a sweet topping
for pies or puddings
I can almost taste.

Foam that slips deliciously
over the tongue (if whipped
crème), or slides effortlessly
over facial stubble (if shaving
cream). Foam that smells
heavenly (if whipped crème),
or can tickle my nose, like it
once did (if shaving cream).

The label says foamy regular
on the shiny red can, nowhere
saying shaving cream, (though
I now blithely assume it is).
To be sure, after pulling off
the smooth scarlet plastic cap
I sniff, inhaling the spicy male
perfume of shaving cream.

I’m reminded at once of
the aroma of my Dad, sixty
years ago, as I watched him
lather up with a worn brush
from an old ceramic mug.
He’d carefully pull down his
hand-razor before the mirror,
creating stripes of smooth pink
skin before toweling away
those edges of leftover foam.


first published in Illinois State Poetry Society 

©2012 Bonnie Manion


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