Wednesday, April 28, 2010


we were passing each other on the street
me and the old man
and the sun was beaming down
first time in a while

the old man smiled at me
and said, “what did you do, give an Indian
war dance, to get the sun to shine?”

I grinned as though I had
looked up at the sky
and said, “I’ll take it any way it comes.”

“I don’t blame you,” he laughed.

his dog squatted down and began to shit everywhere
all over somebody’s garden
then the sidewalk
and eventually the street

the old man kept smiling
looking from the sky to me and down to where
his dog was shitting all over
it all seemed to matter very little to him
when the dog was finished
they walked on

I thought about all the times I’d stepped in dog shit
all the angry mornings
I’d staggered through
a terrible smell following me
with every step

I thought about saying something
to the old man
something like, “hey, what do you think this is?
You think your dog can just shit anywhere?
Clean that up.”

but a moment later I laughed it off
and watched the old man continue down the street
with his half limp and his dirty, little dog
who he probably loved more than anything in the world

now, recalling the shit on the sidewalk
and on the street and in the garden
it doesn’t bother me
not at all
it’s actually nice to be reminded
that there are still careless old bastards out there
geezers with one foot in the grave
men that will never change

that not everyone of us
has been completely whipped
broken into submission
unflinchingly obeying every law
that’s been given to us

that somewhere out there
whether they know it or not
there are soldiers
whose expertise is experience
whose uniforms are graying hair and wrinkles
whose fight against change
is to the death

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