On My Own

A woman becomes a jail cell.
Her hiked skirt is not a gateway metaphor.

She has nothing to do
with the disappearance of Saturn’s rings.

If only the bad guys grew tusks
to reveal their true natures.

I left upon realizing there is no lock,
no key to hold me in this five foot eight confinement.

I insist my incarceration
was a case of mistaken identity.

I am not really sure who I am
to this very day.

A woman wobbled
like a large bell at the first rope pull.

She prepares to ring out Freedom
or ring out Emergency.

I failed to blow out thirty-seven
of my sixty-two birthday candles.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


I was six foot five . Gravity is winning as I get older. I am a smidge under six foot four today. I never dated a woman who was five foot eight. In fact most of the women I dated in my life were five foot five or shorter. Once, I dated a six foot one woman, a blonde Valkyrie many years younger than myself just after my midlife crisis struck me. As you can guess, I did not go well. (It did not go badly either.)

I have never viewed dating or living with a partner as a jail cell. So I have no idea why that image popped up in this poem. Creativity is a difficult thing to place into definitions and parameters. Creativity is oft born of chaos, so expecting neat fitting boxes is silly. If I ever meet a woman who can make Saturn’s rings disappear I definitely wish to have coffee with her to see if any sparks take flight. But that will remain only a wish, since I love Dianne too much for infidelity to be even in a flicker of a thought.

That brings up the question of why do I write dating or relationship poems that are not directly connected to Dianne. I do not have an answer, except the notion that they are fun to write. Like musing on some event from youth whether joyous or traumatizing.

Tangent: once when I had a bit of writers block, the NYC poet Jaxx in conversation suggestion I go out and date the most opposite to my nature woman to get the creative juices flowing. I did not take her advice.

On my sixty-second birthday I did not have a cake with candles. Nor ice cream. I did have chocolate. But if having chocolate declares a day a birthday, then every day is my birthday. 72% dark chocolate is my favorite, just in case any of you feel inspired to gift me some dark chocolate. While on holiday in November, I dropped into the Kyya Chocolate shop in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They have a wild kosher salt 72% dark chocolate which must be placed on one’s bucket list as a means of experiencing rapture.

Oh. I got off topic. Chocolate does that to me.

Love & Light. Tree & Leaf.


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