The Hood

This is a poem about one of the less pleasant features of our society. In recent years the hood has become a symbol for a particular group of young people who seem intent on both being unhappy and making others feel that way too. It is based on a real encounter I saw while out walking my own dog at night.

Old man shuffles
Stooped, shrouded, muffled
Against cold and damp
Uniform of age
Coat grey
Woolen scarf
Hi-shine shoes
Capped head bowed
Furrowed brow
Sunken cheeks
Age-dimmed eyes
Lines of life
Life lived
Duty done
Passes by
Nods hello

And the dogs watch
And tails wag

Young man struts
Perma-scowl
Too-young
Too-deep, furrowed brow
Thin stretched lips
Suck
On the last of ten
Smile proof
Sunken eyes
Beneath
The Hood

The Hood
Hides, covers
The accused’ blanket
The judges wig
Executioner’s mask
Hiding feeling
Hiding all

The skunk cloud
Beer puddled brain
Swaggering
With sham-strength
Confused values
Misplaced, replaced
Aggression, size
Anger, power
Resentment brimming
Arrogance wrapped

And the dogs bark
And he

Wonders why!