Sometimes on the street a neighbor says
Ain’t you pretty and
How old are you honey?
And I say twenty-one and smile
In a hip-shaking way and we
They say a girl like you is too pretty
To be wearin’ that frown
If my wound had been touched that day
And I smile with all my teeth and
Walk past the church on the way home.
The truth though is I’m just as much twenty-one
As I am a mathemetician
And that’s not at all.
I mean not at all.
The truth is my soul is an old chicken in a dirt yard
Can’t fly, just frets and pecks about all day long.
The things I loathe are chicken-wire, scary loud noises,
When things turn to mystery and I can’t know what’s
Behind it all or where it all goes
The truth is, a bird that can’t fly is being robbed blind
Unless it can run real real fast.