My passport arrived today renewed
in a hard cardboard official envelope
in red, white, and blue colors
the postal clerk scanned with eyes wide.
When tipped in the light
stars appear on my face photo
and across the varicose lines
to the emblem of the bald eagle.
Between pages fourteen and fifteen
the blue and white flower sack threads
fasten the filigree sheets to the cover
while the Rushmore Presidents stare stoically.
The visa blanks are empty dreams
with historic quotations and
I now have ten years in which to roam
the earth both leaving and returning.
Somewhere hidden carefully within
is a microchip—an integrated circuit
containing my personal data
whatever that might have to be.
Who drew these lines crisscrossing the earth
restricting movement only to those authorized
by official seals and purple stamps and
red taped governmental regulation?
Should not the steady flow of blood
pulsing through the beating heart
be sufficient validation and identification
for unrestricted travel in this world?
Swim the river and feel the current
tugging at your shaking legs
then wade the desert sands at night
stealthily until you finally arrive.
—C. F. Kelly