I thought I was home.
I was in the arctic.

I climbed out of my father
and left his body upon the ice.

The relative temperature felt the same
against bare skin.

I mean I left behind his behaviors I learned
through childhood observation.

I mean I never want my hand
to make a fist to teach a lesson.

Not even to punch a hole
through the darkness in search of light.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Against The Wall

Our poetry group
allows a class of psych majors
to observe us
as we undertake writing exercises
and read first drafts to each other
for critical review.

One doctor sharpens
2B pencils
to be helpful
oblivious to the fact
all of us write in ink.

They stand witness
of the altered behavior
caused by their viewing.

We are accustomed
to writing poetry in crowded cafes.
Given a few minutes
we tune them out
and return to our normal behavior.

The session concludes
in a surprise birthday song
with cake & candles for Joanne.
The doctors reappear
from where ever it was
we vanished them to
and they partake
at Joanne’s insistence.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney