Unfound Millions

My diligent ancestors
built a farm out of the wilderness
back when central Illinois
was wilderness.

At the time there was no
nearby town
so they were not
on the first Illinois maps.

My not-diligent ancestor
drank too much whiskey
every day of his life
and did foolish things while inebriated.

He once drove a team of horses
into the root cellar
mistaking its open doors
for horse barn.

All the horses died.
The fact he did not die that day
was a firm indication of the depth
of great grandmother’s Christian devotion.

If my not-diligent ancestor
had been born back
when there was no town nearby
whiskey would not have been available.

I never understood my diligent ancestors
where family history explained
that my not-diligent ancestor
always had money for whiskey and cigarettes.

Back in his life span
cigarette packs had baseball cards.
I searched musty boxes for days
seeking Honus Wagner and Cy Young.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Saturday Special

Cigarette after sex.
Long night of drinking.
Heartburn.

Uninvited love.
Thrusts.
Countertop predicability.

Relaxed.
Big Hopes.
Four Horsemen Street.

Any City
with a bridge
and view of the ocean.

Broken Down.
Ten miles drunk.
Blistered.

Trying to time
the sunrise instant.
Leap.

Splash.
Rainy windowpanes.
Nightmare.

Awash in bed linens.
Another chance.
Wishes.

Desire
verses reality.
Beer bottle.

White filter soggy.
Nothing funny.
Nothing.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney