18 August 2018 poem

Cannon Ball

I placed one toe in the river Styx
to test the water.

I have no plan to cross over,
but a spirit shaking splash seems necessary
to invigorate my sense of living.

An old man at one of many temples yells,
Hey, you have to purchase a ticket.

Such a gloomy Gus.
Such a clock face frozen at eleven-fifty-nine
and fifty-eight seconds.

Before I jump in, an aquatic woman rises to the surface,
emerges, effortlessly treads water,
her lipstick smeared as if just after a passionate kiss.

She points to the Sunday School kids’
bake sale cookies and requests the sourest lemon bar
to give her a bit more pucker.

On a velvet cushion a single lemon bar rests.
In red letters on a piece of white poster board
in a bold script, is the word Everything.

I search the cluttered days of my life
and locate hundreds of plastic trash bags
filled with well and poorly spent time
twist-tied together with a long, white, double spaced list
of unrequited crushes.

I think twice about it. Then a third time.
Then, with a running start,
I jump into the river,
making the biggest ferry dock passenger drenching splash
I know how to plunge.

copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney



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