With temperance and lacking satisfaction the old laggard sat.
Eyes dully glowing, his countenance was an inversion
Removing light, undoing kind words, curmudgeonly and mean.
His stump was a podium to the world, preaching
Preaching, preaching his gospel of benign malcontent.
He was the mud in the clearest pool, the dark cloud chasing the silver linings
Intent on vanquishing them far away, his mood needing no company of their sort.
And when the pretty girls swished gaily by, he sneered at their rosy cheeks
And when the children frolicked at his feet
Playing with their paper boats in the puddles of the street
He shooed them away with a shout and a wave of his stick.
And when the old, mangy dog with no home lumbered by and growled,
He patted his head and said “Now here’s a chap.”