street I know,
canal, swollen this time in July,
threaded field of weeds,
strung telephone poles,
and this Sunday something new.
The sign aside the blacktop,
and that simple word -
No arrow pointer.
No declaration modifier
meant to associate or direct.
Just a word unbound by spin,
ink-dried and stationary on square cut poster board.
A lonely man's edict?
Free what? Free whom?
What compass point afix,
what landmark mark
make me hero to one . . . or many?
Where the bonds to loose, the despot?
Or is the sign a tempter,
a bid to unbridle my avarice?
What trinket more could stuff my home? What bauble
feed the inside of a closet full?
What useless gem, devalued by one,
might I briefly prize?
Or reflection force? sink me to
long moments alone atop my back patio
foreswearing or forseeking the Moment,
the coming sense of right,
awareness in the swaying tree and breeze,
of single leaf trembling
The sign said Free.
There is a car behind me, one in front,
and through this day others.
We travelers have seen and will see
and draw from its letter-scrawl,
this legend, an answer all ours,
I suppose. Some will surely stop, search,
forage 'round the written promise,
some embark for the Moment in brilliance,
some drive on but begin to listen.
And some ignore the call altogether.
Free is, after all, a single syllable,
scarce a pitter patter in letters,
meager enough to ignore or forget
like this moment.