My Little Lousy Joke

(if you are viewing this via email, the website has a recording of this poem and commentary; click the title above)

Tidying up books in the religion section, I’m suddenly taken back 42 years…

I’m in the living room of the house I share with two pre-med students and a dance major. Danny’s in the study, reading for a philosophy class. I call out, “Danny, that’s a lousy book you’re reading!” I hear Danny chuckle.

Rick, also in the living room, eyes me with disgust. “That’s rude, Brad.” He means it. To him, I’ve slipped into a zone of perpetual disapproval. I can do no right.

“It’s not what you think,” I attempt. “Danny’s reading the ‘Tao Te Ching’ by Laozi. Get it? A Laozi book?” No response.

Disapproval. It can become habitual. In my life, I have been both the victim and the perpetrator.

–Brad Hepp, 4/11/2023

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