Documentary

Last night I watched
a documentary
on Gettysburg
and I was surprised
how they dumbed it down
and left out large portions
of the battlefield conflict
to focus on individuals’
experiences.

Although these accounts
were interesting
and brought a human element
to the history,
no viewer could understand
the information
and misinformation
commanders made
their decisions by
or the battle as a whole.

Then I thought
maybe that was the point.
There is no understanding war
only the monotony
that precedes the maelstrom
and the constant heave
of the knife’s edge
that separates
courage from terror.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Trying To Explain

I’ll try anything once.
Well. I use to.
Age diminished
my adventurous spirit.
As in, I do not like
things that cause trouble.
Especially if trouble feels
like a kick in the shins.

Even if you double dare me
I will not stop in Indiana—
only pass through
on my way to somewhere else
never leaving the highway,
always waiting until Ohio
or the return to Chicago
to fuel the car.

Remaining warm is important.
As the fires of passion burned out,
so did the internal furnace.
Or, maybe, it was my ability
to ignore the cold
that subsided.

I feel fear more easily, now.
It is not that I have less courage.
It is that I have less ignorance.
I have seen too many cattle bones
from a highway stretched
over a drought dry grassland.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney