Truth is so odd. Today
Here's a man with a real green parrot
Perched like a hat on his head.
He's leading a liver-spotted
English Springer Spaniel up the avenue
At dusk, his red flannel jacket insistent
As a stop sign. Obediently
We stop, we notice him.
It's an auspicious sign, leading
Us to talk of our dead dogs,
Matthew Brady and his mother Clover,
Both gone these thirty years.
Ditto Nemo, dog of my dreams,
Dignified even in dying.
Well, here's the two of us,
Well-met after thirty separated years,
Laughing at the parrot-hat-man,
Yearning perhaps to pat his dog.
Take care of those who pass
In the street. Their secrets alter us
And are our own.
1990 Ansie Baird
ANSIE BAIRD is poet-in-residence at the Buffalo Seminary and teaches in Just Buffalo's Writers-In-Education program. She will read from her work at 2 p.m. today at the Burchfield Art Center.