As the snow swirls around them,
one old man in a wheelchair
uses sign language to tell
another old man standing
at the bus stop, "Friend,
you creak when you walk."
Neither one can hear any better
than when they were classmates
at a school for the deaf eons ago.
They learned to sign by writing
in the air with fingers honed
on the whetstone of banter.
Amiable as ever, the creaky man
counters with fingers quicker than
beaks in a Tijuana cockfight.
"Amigo, how can you tell
that I creak when I walk?
Do my knees sign that well?”