Black beard

I imagined growing up
and having a black beard,
the kind uncles grow
to catch Sunday roast gravy.
My black beard was going to be thick,
thick enough to hide all my skin,
and I would have combed it
with a thin wooden brush.
I would’ve fiddled with my black beard
whenever I was nervous,
it would’ve tickled my collar at funerals,
I would never have known
how to keep it soft.

© Carl Burkitt 2023

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