Moving to the city,

the country boy learned

not to smile, nod or say hello

to people on the street,

joggers in the park


He learned to shift his eyes aside,

look up the sides of buildings,

at tree branches overhead,

anomalies in the sidewalk cement


After a morning run, he showered,

scrambled eggs, read the headlines,

puzzled to himself how humans

could lose animal instincts

to gather together as did

the cows he used to milk


He followed the people at the office

into downtown bars after work

and noticed even as they talked

and laughed about nothing much

they kept looking up at the TV screen

to watch other people talking


And to think he’d moved to the city

because he’d been lonely at nights

with nobody to talk to but the stock