Richard Jones - “Dislikes”

There are things I thoroughly dislike—
Weeds, litter, graffiti, tattoos,
Especially tattoos,
And any sort of firearm or weapon.
Yet no sooner do I count
And name the affronts to my sensibility
Than I see the many charms
Of the very things my mind
Regards as utterly distasteful.
The cornflower, for instance,
That spindly yet thick-blooming blue weed
Gracing the shoulders of summer roads—
I’m crazy about it, and would add its magic
To my garden, giving it a little plaque
With its name for all to see in permanent ink.
And once in the desert I saw a sand funnel,
A tiny tornado filled—
As in one of those children’s drawings—
With all sorts of interesting trash
Spinning in a rainbow of color
Against a perfectly spotless sky.
If you’ll forgive my saying this,
I’ve found graffiti on lonely walls
As profound and concise as poetry,
And stood beneath train trestles memorizing
The spraypainted thoughts
Of some teenage prophet.
As for tattoos,
I’m sure you assume
I ponder the rose on a girl’s shoulder,
Or the Chinese character for princess
On an older woman’s ankle.
But no.
I’m thinking
Of tattoos found in packs of gum,
The way my boys relish
Adorning their almost imperceptible biceps
With lightening bolts and hearts,
The way they dress like pirates and plunder my world
With their wooden cap guns and their shiny plastic 
Sabers.

“Dislikes” copyright © 2006 by Richard Jones.