Doing what I want,
When I want,
How I want,
As fast or as slow as I want,
With only my own private justification
(Flimsy though it may be).
Today I answer to no one
But The One.
Running into old friends at the coffeeshop.
Invited into their private, inner sanctum
Of “ironical” commentary and prayerful chatter.
Wearing my “different drummer” shirt.
Talking of criminals we have known.
Noticing a grandpa with his small granddaughter,
Carefully crossing the street outside.
Ellen notices how the garden gnome statue
By the cash register,
Next to the portrait of John F. Kennedy,
Makes the gnome look like a funhouse mirror image
Of the president.
Tom makes a comment about Kennedy’s “inner gnome”.
I counter that I’m quite familiar
With my own inner gnome.
It’s my inner Kennedy that I’m trying to get in touch with.
Staying so long for breakfast
That it’s lunchtime when we leave.
Poking around after, across the street, alone,
In a little folk music store,
An institution of authenticity–
True-believer Sixties spirit,
(With a markup that’s reasonably low);
Hoping it can stay afloat
Through the current Depression,
Amidst the crass corporate mindset
In the marketplace of the Oughts.
Walking down to the bank.
Taking the time to turn in a lost cash card
Left behind at the outside machine.
Noticing the bank employees
With not enough to do.
Letting my parking meter sit at zero,
Not caring if I’m ticketed.
Running a few errands.
Skipping a few others.
Considering take-out chicken
But deciding against it.
Heading instead for home.
(Like that graceful gnome)
One step ahead of the guilt
Over all the things left undone today.
I feel a poem coming on.
Rhyme, no rhyme–
No concern for meter or time.
With no place to go
(As good poems tend to be),
Toward a simple but perfect ending.