Getting On With It

He said, “All I want is to sit
On the grass under a tree,”
An act so simple,
Most of us
With our complex thinking
And rush to get somewhere
Just can’t understand.

His life in a cage,
Was more animal than man,
Told when to eat,
Told when to shower,
Told when to do everything.
The institutional control
Becoming his way after thirty years.

Then he was tossed out,
Freed from the zoo,
Probably less for moral reasons
Than economic desperation, and
Without any real support
To understand
The newness of his old haunts.

Yet, all he wanted to do
Was take the time to sit
On the grass under a tree,
For its not the doing of time
That weighs on a man’s soul
It’s the absence of beauty,
Hope, and peace.

Steinbeck wrote, “If we put off our
Duration preoccupied minds,
It might be that time
Has no duration at all.”

Hopefully, sitting
On the grass under a tree,
Smashed the man’s criminal past and
His thirty year incarceration
Into something more concrete than
The arbitrary assignment of hours,
Months, and years.
Maybe now he can enjoy moments
For the rest of his time.

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