Listen to Rita Dove read her poem.
Oh, obstreperous one, ornery outside of ordinary
protocols; paramilitary probie par
excellence: Every evidence
you yield yells.
too tough to tackle, tears
springing such sudden salt
when walking wrenches:
Haranguer, hag, hanger-on—how
much more maddening
corroding, crazed cartilage calmly chipping
away as another arduous ambulation
begins, bone bruising bone.
Leathery Lothario, lone laboring
gladiator grappling, groveling
for favor; fair-weather forecaster, fickle friend,
jive jiggy joint:
Kindly keep kicking.