Monday, May 9, 2016

Freedom Takes Many Forms by Michael L. Newell

The small lass with the hula hoop
was swinging and swaying when
the rain arrived in a fine fury.

All her classmates ran for cover.
She continued to swing the hoop
faster and faster in wilder and wider

circle upon circle until it slipped over
her hips and slid to the ground;
then she sped toward shelter

with a skipping run lifting her right knee
into graceful hops high off the ground,
her face tilted toward the sky in full-throated,

uninhibited laughter (audible over
the storm) which I heard and joined
from the window I stood in above

the playground which she was vacating.
She heard my guffaw and waved
in my direction before, with wildly

swinging arms and bounding leaps,
she disappeared down the steps
and out of sight around an elementary building.

A gust of wind blew a stinging sheet of rain
in my direction, and (smiling) I leaned into it
and longed for the abandon of childhood.

                                              Kigali, Rwanda, November 29, 2011

Michael L. Newell has recently been published in Jerry Jazz Musician, Verse-Virtual, and Culture Counter.