Roy Herndon Smith

Outside my window,
a curved mess of a plane tree,
sparsely leaved branches

partly obscuring
the hard-edged, straight, clean lines of
a street light and sign

of wordless commands—
the yellow background, Warning!
Red octagon, Stop!

Black arrow, Ahead!
The whole, Not now! No crash of
hard-edged, clean-lined cars!

No mass of bloody,
broken bodies! Remember
children, who, lost in

the messes and curves
of abundant life, don’t know
how sparse the days are.