The Straight Poop
As I motor through the neighborhood
On my afternoon walk
Two brash young boys want to know
If I’ve ever “pooped” in my pants.
They know I’m a teacher, so I
See the motive of their callow pleasure
In puerile scatology.
These mean-street kids are a sort of
Long-term project for me.
I respond to their impudent questions
With Socratic ones of my own.
This time, I reflexively answer,
“No, have you?” and the philosopher
Slowly turns in his grave.
As I leave them behind, it comes to me
What I should have said is, “Do you know
When some people get really old,
They can’t help but poop in their pants?”
But then I think these little street urchins
Don’t need to know yet that life circles round:
From diapers to diapers ye shall be.
I think of my warehoused father who
Has lost control of his bowels, his bladder,
And his life, and I can’t help but see
Life as a mirror with existence turned left to right.
Very young and very old are helpless,
But they’re headed in opposite ways.
So much the same at the start and end of the day.
I walk on straight ahead, knowing
That life’s a normal statistical curve.