huddled in a home office converted shop,
he follows the letter of the suffocating law
with pedantic patience and a tired sympathy.
you can’t spare enough for your few kin.
he escapes a smile while discussing the
finer points of the steel machine and
i realize that this is what it’s like when
most of your neighbors disagree.
privately collected behind closed doors
is where you end up when you listen
to yourself instead of the demonization.
i get up, shake hands, and this time
it’s an affirmation, another autonomous being
pushing back on the troughs of an ideology lost
to power, rhetoric, and historical amnesia.
every walled garden can slip into a prison,
but some won’t settle to be zoo animals.
to the squawking gulls that outnumber you,
there is only time to state your stance and
make the inadequate concession: it’s just
a recreational hobby, unpopular around here.