54 Slinking Off Open the morning paper, what do you see? Tom L. and Abby W. in full stride, The splendid young pair running side by side, Their dog loping between them happily The finishing touch: I wish them well all three And damn the lurking journalist who eyed And caught them coming toward him in their pride And put them there, a soon-yellowing cliché. Picture one now, with his thin legs, gray hair And turkey neck and flapping khaki pants And nylon shell from the discount drug store Slipping along down here and wondering If some other poet … deepening in advance His shame at doing so fashionable a thing. 107