Upstanding

I have lived long enough
to see my own sin
come to life and stalk after me
like a hungry child
who has learned how to wail
with that piercing tone
that shivers the spine.

The problem is
I have become my own obstacle.
How brick wall of me.
How traffic light stuck on red.
How English Channel without a boat.

My faith is paint-by-numbers
and I never learned to apply color
within the lines
to form cohesive shapes.

I have no use for handclap gospels
on stadium-screen televisions
and preachers who join the Jetset
with pay-dirt hallelujahs.

My childhood is up for sale
in the guise of furious poetry
and self-published throw-aways
that I hand out as a street corner pontiff,
claiming my work a durable bridge
to cross over from a child’s daydream
to the work of real men.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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