Old Dogs

SCREAM


caught
the number 41
downtown at 5th
and Denver

heading
to the university
to pick up
my girlfriend's car

time again
to brutally subject myself
to the psychological abuse
of job hunting
in these sad
economic
times

at 6th and Boston
we picked up a man
and an elderly woman

I could see
right away
by the light
in his face
that he wasn't
quite part
of the everyday
crowd

he seemed
blessed
with a childlike
fascination
at the mundane
world
about him

the two
sat across
from each other

the woman
looking ancient
somewhere in the gray area
between 70 and 120
apparently
his mother

she motioned him
to sit still
and to quiet
the inarticulate
grunting and groaning
that he had been making
since they
had boarded

he began
to sign animately
to the old woman
and I realized
that he was deaf
as well as
touched

he seemed
to be most excited
by everything
that he saw
his mother
attempting to calm
his frantic
and noisy gestures

he appeared
under her control

minimal
movement on her part
causing an instant
albeit temporary
result

what
would he do
when his mom
finally died?

who
would be there
to guide this
simple angel?

he would probably
be locked away
committed to a slow
but deathly certain
institutional insanity
killing his light
forever

I hit
the stop panel
and rushed off
the crowded bus
a few miles short
of my destination
in order to escape
his permeating
deaf and dumb
saintliness

way too much
for my aching
lost soul
to tolerate

besides
it was a nice day
for a walk

work
could wait