Work or Pleasure

The past stared out of Lori’s mirror.
Her eyes absorbed the past’s reflection.
She mistakenly thought PU the mirror image of UP.

She felt the pull of the past
as if it was a river slowly tugging on her—
a broken tree limb with leaves dangling into the water.

In this pulling, she located a song.
Lori sang of longing.
Aloud. To no one.

She sang the river cutting a gorge
through the landscape—
a deep escarpment without crossing.

The alphabet of hope resided on the far side.
A speed ramp for a running-jump attempt on her side.
She stood barefoot in the center of a prickly pear patch.

The song faltered like lemon squeezed in her mouth.
Her veins blued closer to the skin.
She released a held breath.

She examined the skin of her cheeks, below her eyes.
The endless washing seemed a disaster.
Suddenly she was not sure which twilight colored the window.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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