Independence Day

Sitting outside on the 4th of July

in an Adirondack chair

by the little stone garden

with the scarecrow.

Its white shirt hangs slack

over crucifix arms

straw hat tattered and crumpled

by sun and heavy rains.

I watch clouds float

across the robin egg sky

like helium balloon animals

in a circus parade

pushed asunder by winds

blowing away the storms of yesterday.


I think, not so much, about

the Declaration of Independence,

which was initially published as the Dunlap broadside

and primarily signed on August 2nd,

but more about the fact

that this was the date when New York State

abolished slavery and Thoreau

moved into his shack on Walden Pond.

Whitman turned poetry on its head

when he self published Leaves of Grass

on this day, and Lewis Carroll

created Alice in Wonderland,

sending imaginations on a flight of fancy

on Independence Day.