ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BOB WOELK
Over the years, I have paid homage to my mustache on several key occasions. And, because that has seemed so ridiculous, I have always celebrated my upper lip’s hairiness on the oddest of years.
For example, I wrote my first poem feting the growth on its ninth anniversary. I wrote another on the occasion of the 19th anniversary.
So, it only seems natural to write a poem to honor something that has now been part of me for nearly three decades.
I remember the time of year I first entered this manly rite of passage because, as a member of the basketball team, I was not allowed to let any facial hair be seen.
So, when the season ended in March 1977, I decided to stop running a blade across my upper lip. The skin there has not seen the light of day since.
Neither my 23-year-old son nor my 15-year-old daughter has ever seen me non-mustachioed. My wife may have, but she didn’t pay any attention to me before we began dating in 1978.
So, without further ado, help me celebrate this festive occasion in verse.
* * *
Hair Today, Not Gone Tomorrow
Through 29 years my lip’s been your perch,
For a friend who’s more loyal I’d need a long search.
You never have left me; you’ve always been there,
To me, you are more than just manly-type hair.
O’er good times and bad we’ve always been pals,
During those years we’ve met our share of gals.
And even though as time has passed you have grayed,
Unlike the hairs on my head, yours have all stayed.
I remember it well, the day of your birth.
I discovered you growing; it filled me with mirth.
I scarce can describe how your fuzz made me feel
As we proclaimed my manhood; sure, it was a big deal.
Nearly three decades have passed since that fateful day
Yet no razor has ever again mowed your upper lip hay.
It may seem quite silly, to those without cares,
But, middle school boys are quite hopeful for theirs.
I can’t say the wife is in love with your growth,
Then again, when she married me, she took an oath
To love me forever, through thick and through thin,
And, to make matters worse, the hair’s spread to my chin.
She’s philosophical, really; she knows it is true,
When I say, “I had this mustache before I had you.”
It’s a part of the package, what more can I say?
She has learned to accept you, and let us have it our way.
So, here’s to you, friend, as you turn 29.
While you may not be much, at least you’re all mine.
The years have colored you pepper and salt.
You’re only in my way when I’m drinking a malt
Without a straw, but when I’m having a cone,
And I think that the ice cream is all eaten and gone,
I know that the flavor is still left behind
Mingling among the other treasures I’ll find.
At times I have wondered what life would be like
If I’d never considered a lip full of spike(s).
Would I look younger, without you? I muse.
My lip would feel naked if cut you I’d choose.
So, I think I’ll just keep you; we’ve become quite attached
And occasionally I’ll have you trimmed and de-thatched.
I can’t help but think, some day when I’m gone,
My memory, helped by you, my ‘stache, will live on.