The Piper at the Gaits
There are times when the gait of everyone I see
is fabulously grotesque. Here's one
doing a Groucho walk; another waddling
to shame the ducks; another powering
down the sidewalk as if forcing his way
through an angry tide of syrup.
Where can they all possibly
be hoping to arrive? When they come
to the end of the world, they'll walk right off,
absorbed in posturing. For one moment
their eyes will cross mine, checking to see
if I register their brand. Then they'll drop
into the abyss, without even a wail.
Whoosh! Legs still pumping.
No business of mine. No one appointed me
the judge of walks. I sit with my cloven hooves
tucked demurely under my shaggy thighs,
and play my pipes. Little filaments
of music, drifting like the threads of Whitman's
spiders, catching what they may: something or nothing,
sweet or sour, tomorrow or today.