A Gnomic Nomad’s Quest for World Change
I want to be a gnome who lives inside
a mushroom red with green translucent flecks.
When lonely I imagine I’m an elf
with old white beard and green accordion
that plays a tarantella for bumble bees—
an antique English postcard I once saw
within a junk shop in a mountain town.
My den will be a workshop where I’ll build
tin music boxes chiming mountain song.
My mushroom’s Tudor windows will glow bright
like glass panes in a forest chapel, stained
with green of hickory nut, ripe red rosy
tomato heart, dyes I will jar to craft
mementos like 3-D gnome stickers I won
from Bingo!, pasted on a skateboard’s wheels,
and watched from weedy wall the sparkles whir
while they swooped across the drained reservoir
behind the old graffitied Burger King.
I want to be the chubby woodland gnome
within the oval freezer magnet spied
from Ms. Theresa’s dinette where we drink
papaya juice with orange straws, and chat
so that I quit feeling a gawky fourteen.
She wrings her hands, four sons away at war,
and fills her hallways full with hymns.
I’ll climb from cartoon trees, through proud report
cards, red to-do lists to ask her to dance.
I’ll pack deflated hives with lucky loot:
a flute, mask made from stray blue bird feathers,
a spool of spider string, oak leaf bouquet
to leave atop a roadside loveseat’s seat,
to tack to tele-poles beneath “Lost Cat”,
and I will soothe the aches of jaded eyes
with gemstone tones, the knowledge of a gnome.