20 Nov 2018 poem


Death sent me a picture postcard
of the Grand Canyon.

For an instant,
I worried the canyon’s days were come a close.

But the hand written note said simply,
Beautiful view. Death.

I sat by the window and remembered
the view of Bright Angel Gorge from the south rim.

I troweled weeds out of the garden
and remembered abundant wildflowers.

And I wondered why Death
did not go to a popular beach resort—

but guessed it was a dislike
of sand in her swimsuit.

I spent an hour of the afternoon
searching for my left running shoe.

I had no where to run, but the shoes
worked concurrently as walking shoes and bicycling shoes.

It occurred to me Death might be at the Grand Canyon
on a working holiday.

Retired people tend to travel in the off season
to save a few dollars, to avoid the younger crowds.

I imagined several gusts of wind while leaning over the rim
being Death’s wings’ backbeats

and her sacred breath whispering away the crowd
while the beauty of the canyon at sunset

was the last thing hundreds of elderly observed
their time expired as they crossed over.

I found my left black shoe in the studio
under a pile of scenic national geographic cutouts for a collage.

An instant message arrived, a short film clip attached
of a mule, saddle sliding downward around the belly,

baptizing Death in the Colorado River

copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney

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