False Hope

The wind turns the rickety blades of an ancient mill-pump,
but no water pours into the trough.

Adjacent to the trough lay some bones
and the tatters of sun-bleached clothes.

The bones are scattered about, probably by hungry animals.
Some display gnaw marks.

On finding a second jaw bone, I concluded
the bones belonged to a couple.

All the teeth are in the jaws—no fillings.
Whoever they were, they’d been too poor to purchase sugar.

My cell phone displays one bar.
The sheriff’s office acknowledges my call and GPS location.

In the sparse shade of a piñon, I sip water sparingly,
not knowing how long I will wait for the government to arrive.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


This poem is my imagination expanding a rickety windmill passed while hiking into a story-poem.

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