Distrust Appearances

He came into the bird-shop where I stood
A hulking giant, monumental, grim,
A paragon of muscular manhood.
'What is sold here,' I thought, 'that could serve him?'
His heavy brow, his grat, prognathic jaw
Spoke brooding truculence; he wore no vest;
And, where his shirt flared one side, I saw
The matted hair upon his mighty chest.

I thought of Gog, Carnera, Hercules,
As he stood by me, breating like a gale.
'What can he want,' I wondered, ''mid all these.
Pet dogs, birds, goldfish offered here for sale?
Bulldogs at least.' The parrots watched him, tense;
The yelping pups grew still to see him pass;
All sensed his presence, dominant, immense.
Even the goldfish goggled thro' their glass.

He scared me. Hastily I made my choice
And paid my cash. Yet loitered by the door,
Longing to hear the thinder of that voice
Rumble and break into a sudden roar;
Longing to know, amongst these playful folk
Pups, parrots, love-birds - what could be his need.
Sharks? Panthers? ... Then his piping treble spoke:
'Please, miss, three pennorth of canary seed.'

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"Distrust Appearances" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 8 Apr. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6293/distrust-appearances>.

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