Cake or Death

We use the nice word Pandemic
instead of The Plague
or better Black Death.

I find it reasonable to believe
if everyday folks
saw in everyday life

the blueish bodies removed
from apartment buildings
or neighborhood homes

only the die-hard
would reject the vaccine injection
provided by science and the state.

Nothing like seeing the consequences
before you choose Cake or Death
for the cake to look very tasty

even if you detest German Chocolate
or Lemon Poppy Seed
and really really want a tasty bite of Angel Food.

How silly of me to suggest
vaccine hesitancy is a branding issue
and not a simple case of ostrich syndrome.

I could suggest it is opposition politics
gone to insane lengths of differentiation
with a full fledged propaganda machine

profiting from the chaos and carnage
but that would sound too much
like a far-out conspiracy theory

where some one-percenters
formed a diabolical cabal
to place one of their own in charge

through democracy’s demise
to institute an authoritarian regime
just so they could bring back slavery

since there are inferences
of a minimum wage hike
and pressure to provide everyone with health care.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


The expression Cake or Death is taken from an Eddie Izzard comedy performance in his 1999 video Dressed to Kill.

My Few Days Working On A Ranch

The cowboy who bragged He could not be throw’d!
got bucked off by the chestnut stallion.
We took it for granted the horses were wise enough
not to brag they could not be rode.

The red-haired girl who watched us
separate calfs for branding
and burn our ownership into their hides
asked the sheriff to arrest us for child abuse.

I listened to more country music than ever before
but heard only one black voice
though I had read one-quarter of cowboys
who settled the Wild West were of African descent.

The day I helped mend fence
my more experienced partner
fell asleep in the saddle almost immediately.
His horse stopped at every break in the wire.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney