free spirit

by Billy Howell-Sinnard
The Writer's Block
Third Place, July 2021
Judged by Bruce McRae

that’s what he called me
both of us bouncing in the bed
of an old pickup
the smell of manure
swirling around us

friends for a mile or so

i grinned but didn’t show it
he was young
didn’t know the difference
between a free spirit
and a lost soul

i guess i didn’t either
that was the beauty of it
not knowing

A pithy poem. Short and to the point, without any wasted verbiage. Almost-but-not-quite glib. A few deft lines and we're back in time, reliving a moment gone forever. We're in another place, the shared summers of youth. You can hear the writer's emotional frisson, their upbeat if not a little world-weary sigh. It's tricky eschewing punctuation in writing but this poem accomplishes that easily. --Bruce McRae