Lost in Celebration


Fourth of July
In the aimless wind,
             tree tops luft…

Luft!  How brilliantly the poet conjures
the circular motion —
rudderless! – of old trees shifting,
hapless sails billowing.

Trapped under a humid blanket
neither fish nor fowl
nor sun nor air
nor active compass

we’re captive, vagabonding,
shuffling, going nowhere
with a flurry of anxious
distracting motion.

On S. Main I seek refuge: millennials
sipping coffee, cold press, Internet.
I savor luft on the screen
in Dave’s air conditioning.

Now spellcheck acts up — first lift,
then left.  Utterly directionless.
When alone with nothing else to do,
looking for kicks, Google it.

Luft is short for Luftmensch, “an impractical
contemplative person having no
definite business or income.”
Luft, German for air, mensch, human being.

Beside me, a girl drawing, some tattooed kids
joking.  Jesus!  In whose eyes are we
Luftmensch American?  Careful, be
sophisticated, be mindful of the Yiddish.

Consider irony and humor with a jot
of bitter truth.  Be faithful to your word,
even in this hapless process.  Google, a second time
around, makes meaning more elusive:

One side has the word,
one side has the definition.  Microwave and
dishwasher safe.”    I’m not kidding!

The Fourth cometh – that we are going nowhere
is obvious.  We don’t know anything.
The American flag lufts like Saran around its pole.
If only I knew what luft meant.


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One Response to Lost in Celebration

  1. Tom D'Evelyn says:

    The courage of the rudderless flaneur! Thanks Jill for raising the bar on this difficult day!

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