Madame Gabrielle, were you really French?
And what were those heavy books
You made them balance on top of their heads,
Young women with secret aspirations,
We saw strolling past the row of windows
In the large room above Guido's barbershop?
On the same floor was the office of an obscure
Weekly preaching bloody revolution.
Men with raised collars and roving eyes
Wandered in and out. When they conspired
They spat and pulled down the yellow shades,
Not to raise them or open the windows again
Until the summer heat came and your students
Wore dresses with their shoulders bared
As they promenaded with books on their heads,
And the bald customer in the barbershop
Sat sweating while overseeing in the mirror
His three remaining hairs being combed.
- Charles Simic