Wing Flap of a Glass Butterfly

Instead of firing his AR-fifteen seventy-two times
the gunman cracked the school like an egg.

The brick shell fragmented leaving gaps
with views of the cornfield for the students inside.

Somehow the gunman placed on the ground
the only patch of snow available in Iowa that July.

The gunman held off the arriving police
until all the children could escape the tyranny of syntax

the mnemonic repetition of times tables
and a gym class that refused double dutch jump ropes.

Crows flew into multiple houses and gathered up
all the dropped nail clippings and shed hair.

Down the road in an abandoned barn flaking red paint
Billy kissed Jenny for the first time.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


Paul struck a matchstick
on the box’s striker strip
and it flared to life
with a hiss.

He moved the flaming matchstick
to the open lantern
as he turned a knob
that allowed kerosene to escape.

The manifold ignited
and the barn brightened up
with false dawn
and the horses woke.

In the straw strewn floor
of the first stall
a rabbit trembled
caught inside the barn.

Its smallness confirmed
when the horse rose to its hooves
carefully avoiding the rabbit
though its tail brushed it.

Paul moved to the second stall
leaving a getaway open
for the rabbit
to the barn door and natural light.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney