The Human Creature

All you have to do
to see how close we are
to creatures who do not frown
in silence while writing words

is to observe a man holding
his fingers awkwardly
around a pen as he drags it
across the page.

All you have to do to realize
how troublesome it is
to be a human being dressed up
is watch a man keep

tucking in his shirt
which the body pushes
out of his pants as he walks,
or look at his misshapen shoes

kicked over beside the bed
as he lies fast asleep.
Entering hs dream
of himself as a creature

without his clothes
is all you have to do to know
his loneliness, walking into room
after room where no one

understands him, trying
to cover himself with his hands.

Explore an earlier version of this poem through a question about craft.

Hear Wes McNair read this poem.