Fernando Rodrigues

What type of word is freedom.
That opposite of cluttered, fettered, alone in the world.
Is freedom unlimited or open,
meaning beyond the imaginary, beautiful slate
of clean. Is it perfect, describable,
Something to be defined, refined and designated,
an empty room to fill up with stuff made of glorious
new, conceptual, inadvertently unattached. The end
of lost and the beginning of found. It is unlimited
and open, calm and unimaginable. How have you walked
past Beverly Manor and not waved at the seniors
in the common area. Describing how
freedom feels can be unmethodical and calculated.
Am I the same person as you. Are we all gathered here
for a purpose of which is also unlimited or static,
a handmade sign that reads, “Continue Now.”
A soul held precious by a specific value point
we all reach at least once in our lifetime,
when we get it that there is no one else to count
on, on less than one hand––except ourselves––and we know it,
and it is said that the opposite of impossible is
grounded and settling, an anchor we drop.
And we all know childhood is over when we know the truth.
It is what it is not. Life is not what you make of it
but what is dished out to you, and how you manage,
talking narrow and straight on a verbal path, yet
hoping that it will all work out. Let’s pretend it is Christmas,
and we get to relive every day in anticipation
and with a little death inside us, hiding under the floorboards,
where, the luck will return to save us, to make things right
as the rain we always knew the story of, the wonder that we knew
would straighten itself out for long enough to be real,
and you get to reach up your hand to be held
by Mom when you visit Aunt Anna in her room with a pull
down bed, and she hands you orange butterscotch
that sticks to the candy dish with the wrapping left there.


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