Every clown knows the language
And imagery of formal lamentation.
You don't need black velvet
Or painted-on tears and a flower.
A man named Lauren, hunting dog
And ATV attached, pulled alongside
My parked car in the grey and red
Rocks of a local park last winter.
I took him for a hunter and believer
In the locally dominant system.
He was neither. He was a retired
Plumber who had served in 'Nam
And hated guns and was not
Overtly fond of Mormons. He was
Garrulous, as was his hound.
I laughed at their barking. Some
Acquaintances are worth making
Via happenstance. "Be a citizen!"
Shouted Lauren, roaring away,
Old yaller blue tick howling behind.
There were old men, when I was
A boy and Vietnam was loaded
And hippies were raw topics
To discuss at the dinner table,
Who could curse and spin BS
About wars that were long before
My time. Pretty soon they were
Mostly gone. Old Lauren too, soon