Tenderized by life (followed by a footnote on LOW and thoughts on the writing of this poem)

There was a dog in my dream with 6 legs.
One of the dog’s legs didn’t work.
He didn’t need that leg.
He had 5 perfectly good legs.

This dream is interesting to me.
There is a part of me that doesn’t work.
This could be a real problem if I was a different person.
Do you see what I am saying?

Let’s move on.
We have a glass table on the back porch deck.
We decided to leave it out all winter this time.
There is snow on the glass top.

It is zero outside.
The table reminds me of summer days.
We pulled the table to the far corner of the deck.
When the snow slides off the roof it falls short of the table.

There are three stones under the table.
There is no snow under the table.
I forget why the stones are there.
They are multi-purpose stones.

My son sent me a video: “Low – Days like these”.
Black and white.
The film follows this old Black guy around.
He is religious and gentle and lives with his dog.

My favorite part is where he is dancing in his house.
His dog watches him dance.
His eyes are closed and he looks like he is trance-dancing.
His car is covered with scripture.

The video ends with him driving.
The window is open and he is holding up his bible.
Like him it is worn and tenderized by life.
You might not understand what I am saying.

That is why I am including the link in this poem.
You can watch it and see for yourself.
Now I am going to make myself some chai.

Low (stylized as LOW) is an American indie rock band from Duluth, Minnesota, formed in 1993. The group is composed of founding members Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals). I’m including this footnote on the band because some of the readers of this poem may not be familiar with the group even though they have been around for almost 30 years and have never grown stale or waxed classic. I wasn’t aware of them until my son drew my attention to them a few years ago. I found this video very moving and there was no doubt in my mind that it belonged, not just with but in the poem.

What does this poem mean?

I have played this video a few times and judging by the emotions that well up, there is a part of me that identifies with that old Black guy.

It took me a while to understand my own poem.

The glass table we pull back from the roof edge with the rocks under it is the fragile part of me that I have to protect. The old guy with the Bible has obviously been beaten up by life (tenderized), and yet he is gentle. Did you notice, when he dances, he brings his hands up to his heart and then to his crown (top of head) chakra? You might also say he is pirouetting in slow motion around an invisible center or axis. He is like the 6 legged dog with a leg that doesn’t work, but he still has five legs, more than the average person. His fifth leg is his faith! The glass table is fragile not only because it is made of glass but because it only has 4 legs. If one of the legs breaks, it will be nothing but junk. I’m pretty sure this is why I wrote this poem and included the video. In this Black guy I have discovered a positive shadow. Every time I watch the video I absorb a little more of who he is for me!