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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Parkin

NaPoWriMo 2.22: Barb

“Her name is Barb. She’s never shut. The one-sided sign on the door reads: OPEN.”

So a ‘children’s poem’ very much in the vein of Roald Dahl or Tim Burton’s Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy (OK, maybe that’s not even for children).

My partner noticed a handwritten sign yesterday (in the small town we’re presently based), advertising ‘Hairdresser’s chair for hire’ (in my head, it then said, ‘by the hour’). It was directly above a butcher’s shop. And so, with Demon Barbers in mind, transposed to Mirfield…

It’s a work in progress and as such, the story is not yet complete. It’ll either get longer, or shorter…


In a blank little town

with a flat grey river

that curves across it like a frown

is a sight that’ll make you shiver.

Her name is Barb. She’s never shut.

The one-sided sign on the door reads: OPEN.

And she’ll give you the worst haircut

you’d never even imagined.

That Barb’s a beast, a crow with scissors.

Don’t go to Barb for a careful trim:

You’ll get yourself caught in a Barbara-blizzard –

a snow-dome not only of hair, but of skin!

‘Butcher Barb!’ that’s what they call her.

‘The Demon ‘Dresser’, the children say.

So what’s the explanation all the

parents look the other way?

“Oh hel-LO Mrs Trent, do come in!”

As shuddering Taylor gets shoved through the door:

“Would you like to try my savoury tiffin?

It’s a recipe I haven’t tried before…”

‘Cos Barb’s got all the parents hooked

on the troublesome treats she bakes.

That Sinister Scissorer! Guess what she’s cooked?

It’s not just the smile that she fakes…

To Be Continued…?

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