On the Surface of What is Real

Paul sorts through the Scrabble tiles
for a willful word
that will brook no descent.

Lori tires of waiting for the message
and moves to the kitchen
to finish the dishes.

Pushing them apart
was never Paul’s intent
so he alters his mouth

to launch an apology
off his tongue
toward Lori’s ears.

Not looking for words
her head is turned
at the wrong angle.

Some utterances
fail to part the curtain of hair
covering her ears.

So the apology becomes a malady
of television watched alone
on the love seat.

Paul starts over
after an uncomfortable hour
with an old standard

that comes from some place real
with an I love you
that pierces Lori’s mood

and finds that beautiful place
where conversation begins
and troubled waters smooth.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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