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.