Old Dogs


the holidays
are upon us again
and everywhere
I look
I see people
rushing about
in a frantic attempt
to find the perfect
Christmas gift
or food item

I'm not
an avid fan
of these festivities
I do enjoy watching
the crowds racing past
in their peculiar pursuit
of the peace and goodwill
that should typify
this particular
time period

every year
I search for the face
that will sum up
the season
and remain
in my memory
when I try
to recall
my impressions
of a certain Christmas

it is never
a face
of joy
or love
but usually
a petty
and mean
scowl of humanity
that seems to appear
in absolute contradiction
to the prevailing notions
of what the holiday
is all

one year
it was the tortured anguish
of a mother waiting in line
to buy a popular toy
short in supply

another year
it was the incessant
of a young child
possessively grabbing
every pleasing object
his tiny reach
then the disbelief and petulance
that appeared
when told


last year
it was the hopelessness
and the resigned realization
of a besieged saleswoman
mobbed by shoppers
and trapped behind
her madly ringing
cash register

this year
it was the pride
and vanity above
a starched clerical collar
after a Christmas

a look
that on most faces
could be easily dismissed
as pedestrian conceit
but on this one
took on an ugliness
where none
should exist
and where
the true expression
of the yuletide
should always

the one face
always in my mind
no matter the year
is the maladjusted one
that I see
in the mirror
morning after

a face
that needs
no special season
or occasion
to frame it
in perspective

a face
every day
of every year
the contempt
my mind holds
for mankind