Old Dogs


we know
not to judge
especially not
by appearance

it usually
reveals nothing
and at best
will mislead
drawing the senses away
from the absolute
toward indefinite
of little

it's difficult
to understand
the obvious reality
that nothing seems rated
on merit as it should
more often than not
form being chosen
over function
what looks good
is made the norm
though we realize
it may not be
the best

I think of this
on my daily rounds
of the supermarkets
bus stops
and sidewalks
of this average city
seeing that the majority
do not conform
to the retouched
picture perfect illusion
of the plastic minority
of image-making

I see
my people
the fat
the ugly
the stupid
the deformed
the disheveled
the impoverished
the diseased
the retarded
the rest
and I know
that they too
experience moments of joy
whether it be tactile
or purely conceptual
it is still a joy
equal to that
of the bright
the beautiful
and the

when I see
a fat flabby woman
squeezing melons
in produce
a crippled derelict
struggling to board
the southbound Lewis
or a furry freak brother
muttering to himself
down the walkway
looking for
that lost

I try to
remember that
in their own way
they dance and sing
and take delight
in life about them
and at times
look at me
shake their heads
and laugh a little
to themselves
before moving
on down
the road