Sunday, March 6, 2011


Editor's note: "Just because an adage has been around for a long time is no reason it can't be challenged," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. As for me, special thanks goes to a wonderful young man from "back home" who found and sent me a copy of Hominy Grits, the only one of Dad's books I didn't have. It's chock full of wonderful poems, so Chris, I can't thank you enough!

Old dogs never learn new tricks
As quickly as younger ones do;
This saying leaves the assumption
It applies to old people, too.

But let me tarry a moment
To put a bug in your ear --
Old dogs are oftentimes better
At learning than they may appear.

Maybe the trouble is really
The tricks you're trying to teach,
Like a preacher on Sunday morning
With a lousy sermon to preach.

Maybe the old dog is slower
Accepting newfangled ways
Because he has better judgment
Than back in his earlier days.

Don't ever take it for granted
That he's unable to learn;
Maybe you haven't impressed him,
And he just isn't giving a durn!

And let me add a reminder,
By way of summing it up:
Many an old dog remembers
The tricks he learned as a pup!

Hominy Grits (1986)

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