Blue Flags

Blue Flags


April is an ambiguous month.

Its dizzy variability leaves one uncertain

As to what to do, to wear, with whom to associate,

Whether to snub your neighbors

Or invite them in for a drink,

Whether to maintain one’s wintry obnoxiousness,

Or be smilingly spring-friendly.


Generally I stay away from them.

My only companion that dog

With whom I go walking.

When I’m stumbling along

Those empty paths in the park

I notice that the trees still look lonesome.

It’s this time of year that does it.


Do you know what I mean by a lonesome tree?

When they drop leaves they are actually saying,

Don’t come too close. Do not attempt

To grow in my shadow. I would much rather

maintain my independence, particularly now,

while it is still quite cold, and I would prefer

To be somewhere else, where there are birds, and it’s warmer.


Well, that’s their ambiguity, a holding breath time,

Bare branches, an anticipation of budding

But I note, anyway, that the grass around them

Is in pretty good condition,

That there are little blue flags

Set out in intervals, probably indicating

That it has just been fertilized.


Yesterday I read

That one third of those who commit suicide

Do so with pesticides.

I guess that’s a kind of warning

To keep your dog,

If you have one,

On the roadway.