Where goes the mismatched man,
I passed along my way?
His seven fingered hands were coal
his yard long toes were clay.
His knotted wooden head was oak,
thrust up – a great whale breaching.
His shoulders seemed a parapet,
far beyond my reaching.
I trembled as he thundered by,
so daunting was his strangeness,
he seemed to be made of spare parts,
malevolent and brainless.
With torso wide as sandy beach
and legs like redwood lumber.
I thought for sure, he’d eat me whole,
then lay down for a slumber.
Just before he disappeared
he turned – our eyes connected,
his story flashed within my mind,
it was totally unexpected.
He goes where others cannot see
for fear of drawing laughter.
while tears like tiny waterfalls,
trail down his chin thereafter.
They flood his beard of mossy green,
filled with salamanders,
while riotous robes of lichen hide
what on his chest meanders.
He spies us from the wilderness,
while we are busy living
and wishes he could join in all
the chattering and giving.
Yet when he opens up his mouth,
to share what he does ponder
owls fly out from deep within
to startle with their thunder.
He turns away quite mortified,
(he knows he is bizarre).
A careless sculptor’s accident
not rendered by Renoir.
Is he troll, or vagabond
misguided or misquoted,
what animus does he possess,
to what is he devoted?
Is his intent to do us wrong,
or simple conversation?
Is our fear justified,
or crass discrimination?
Perhaps he’s like a weed,
that sprung up in a season,
and his teary passage then,
is born without a reason?
Or did some gentle providence
send him here as gift,
to dwell with us, so as to try,
our tiny minds to lift?
Not far beneath, each strange skin
we find a common story
when we take the time to look within,
our difference is our glory.