When I finished my self-defense class
my guardian angel gave her two-week notice.

Now that she did not have to accompany me incognito
she unfurled her wings for the first time in thirty years.

She stopped cleaning the house
to protect me from everyday germs

as if my self-defense class taught my body
how to fend off strep and nasty bathroom bacteria.

She did polish the door-nobs one last time.
But hung the laundry on a clothesline during pollen season.

I thought that a bit passive-aggressive
since she knew I had juniper allergies.

By the time they dried, my white towels
were a wondrous goldenrod deep into the plush.

She was gone by midnight not to be seen again
and I figured I imagined her giving her two-week notice.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

An Angel Of The Lord

An angel of the lord descended from heaven
and set foot upon the Rio Grande.

She exchanged wings for a blue jean jacket
and placed a holy sadness in the book bag upon her back.

Along the bosque trail, adjacent to the Rio Grande,
we met and I introduced myself.

The words that formed her name
revealed the threads that form the fabric of the universe.

The iron of my own blood formed a gravity well
and I felt the weight of a new world pull on me.

The angel informed me that as I am allotted one life
so the earth is our one earth.

She turned her head and watched a heron
spear a fish and swallow it.

She transformed me into a heron
and herself into the salmon of knowledge.

Thus I speared and consumed her.
The iron gravity well of my blood drew me back into my own shape.

I walked to the bridge and rejoined the city.
Urgently I spoke to folks on the sidewalks.

I had not yet digested all her knowledge
thus spoke in tongues, so I sounded like a mad man.

Albuquerque’s homeless population had increased.
The city’s mental healthcare system was faulty.

The sidewalk people either avoided me
or offered me coins from their pockets.

Failing to transmit her message, my blood boiled with frustration.
The iron grouped into a ball to form a new core.

We have only this earth, our one earth.
My blood iron formed a new belief set core.

At Fourth and Central my words settled back into English.
My first words expressed the consumed angel’s holy sadness.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney