Friday, August 17, 2007

Reading People

They smile out at us, those who’ve made the grade,
proud but humbled by the simple truth,
pedigrees established, dues paid,
the multiple traumas of each hideous youth
survived and surmounted, inherited measly beans
now become groves of bearing fruitwood,
winners, who went for it, who reaped by means
of tireless lottery stubs their Peoplehood:
they lie in waiting rooms to be adored.
People. Too special to ignore.

But what have we to do with smiles like these,
we who cringe when the dentist calls our name,
who cling to the gimcrack biographies
suddenly struck by the odds they overcame?
What shall we call ourselves, we who choose
lives unsuitable for even brief reviews
in simple language smudged on limp slick,
accounts which, even spiced, would be
too bland for even the aching and the sick?
If these are People, what form of life are we?

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