There are places he’d rather not go,
closets where clothes are too tight,
pants with belt buckles which still latch
to the shortest length, but now
he can’t hold his breath that long
anymore. He wants to be padded with
Pillsbury dough, something to grab
when hands are available to grope
his half century folds of skin
dessicated and pinched from too much sin.
His big heart chokes the tight collar.
He feels safer in the puppet theater, where
the extra strings keep him from floating
away from so much hot air.
Watch him standing in the sun, waiting
alone for the train north, not willing
to make eye contact for long.
Smile and lift him without saying
I wrote this after seeing the movie ‘Into the Wild’ by Sean Penn. The poem is not so much about the movie as how I related to it. It’s about frustration with social artifice and the strictures of decorum, within which one wonders how much real love and spontaneous feeling is lost. It’s about feeling limited by discomfort in that system and also about wanting to just fit in and be one’s self.