The first actors appear on the capitol steps.
They do not enter the building.
They assembled letters into words
and words into sentences upon poster board.
Their poster board looks like an enlarged
ransom note delivered in a TV crime stories.
The actors are dressed as stage policemen.
They yell out to the assembling crowd
how democracy has been kidnapped
and they seek clues to its whereabouts.
They announce there is a GoFundMe page
to accept donations to distribute as rewards for useful information.
The capitol police arrive and remove the actor police
from the capitol steps with handcuffs and rough stuff.
The arrest appears staged, even the rough stuff.
Blood on the capitol steps suggest otherwise.
The assembled crowd disperses
thinking the show is over and debate the message
over coffee and cakes at a nearby cafe
while their smart phones beep receipt
of new presidential tweets
about fake news and the illegitimate media.
The tree tossed the ball back
to the boy practicing his baseball pitches.
Pitch and toss. Pitch and toss. Pitch and toss.
All day long they played this game
with a lot of imagined all-stars striking out.
The sky could not have been a better blue.
By nightfall, the boy took his ball and went home
to a peanut butter sandwich supper.
Pieces of his pitching motion hung in the air before the tree.
The tree bent and picked them up,
stored them in its trunk to return to the boy tomorrow.
My dog scratches flees she only imagines.
It is her attempt to be more dog than she is.
My other dog types sonnets on an old style typewriter,
but we have not re-inked its ribbon in twenty-seven years.
My third dog knows she is in our home
only for those cold nights that a rock band named itself.
Sometimes my dogs merge together to form Big Dog
that I can ride through cross country—Chicago to LA in three hours.
When my dogs are merged into Big Dog,
she can whistle, sing gospel, dance jigs and alter quantum states.
She cannot do all those things at the same instant.
When she tries, she vibrates into a flock of redwing blackbirds.
My third dog has a secondary gig as a space heater
at the ski-lift ticket booth.
My other dog won the Pulitzer for minimalist poetry
and an Emily Elizabeth Dickinson cos-play contest.
My dog picked a sycamore tree to sit under
in her attempt to be more Buddha than Buddha.
all three poems copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney