This boy brought the mohawk back
dyed neon red above blue facial tattoos
from some aboriginal motif
whose tribal name he does not know.
He started to write his own fairy tale
by conjuring all the learning
he could cram into his brain
at an underfunded one-room school house.
Amtrak is one of the threads he weaves
into his story of winter study
in the downtown library
after listening to the Beatles’ White Album.
His eyes saw leafy green vegetables
for the first time on a field trip
miles into the country
where dairy cows watched traffic zip by.
He took the dam out of damaged
and created a millrace
to turn the wheel that grinds the grain
between the mill-rock and a hard place.
A second thread is his Mother
who he last saw at the morgue
being the only family member around
to make the identification.
After that, I got woven into his story
as a man learning how to restore
a busy urban landscape painting—
with punctures in the canvas dripping cadmium red.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney