Free Verse

           for Will Inman

In the age of clean-shaven politics
and manicured lawns
it takes character to appreciate the universe
in a spiderís web,
letting her weave it in the corner of your room,
and to be proud
that the hummingbird chose the coat hanger
at your back door for her nest.
In the age of steel borders

it takes poetry to cross
into the minds of the impoverished
waiting for their chance
at a piece of the American pie.
In the age of corporations taking over
our lives with their Have a nice day
script for conversation
and packaging
that seals in our opinions
it takes a sharp tongue to cut

through the plastic wrapping.
In the age of prayers that float
on materialistic smiles
when Amen is a prelude to war
and the presidentís religion
is a quick-draw contest
it takes faith in the word
to shoot back. Each day, another mall

takes the place of somebodyís soul,
the news updates the body count,
a species flies closer to extinction
for want of a place to land,
while in your country

birds have citizenship, nobody is illegal,
and passports contain
not visas but verse
so free that bomb
is no synonym for liberate
and church never rhymes with state.

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