Talk of the Gnome Liberation Movement
fails to give the gnomes sufficient credit.
Imprisoned in the crowded quarters
of front yards, guarded indifferently
by deer, ducks, and flamingoes,
they often decide themselves
when it's time to escape.
In earliest morning,
before the paperboys
can deliver the day wrapped in plastic,
they steel themselves,
they steal away,
hopping over miniature picket fences,
and congregate in the parking lot
of the local Kitsch Mart.
There, as day comes with velvet
Jesuses and Day-Glo Elvi,
they stand and pray for deliverance.
Cars cruise by and pick up the girls in bikinis,
the matadors, and
the children with saucer eyes;
after dark, the vendors carry off the rest.
With the lot empty of cars,
the city lights dim
so the stars can come closer.
The saucer descends.
Other small men hustle the escapees
into the ship,
leaving the owners
of ornamental lawn collections
to puzzle over the mysterious bare spots
where the gnomes stood so long
the grass now appears almost scorched.