Shelter Receives No One After Five

We stood outside
the First Church of Christ.

It was one of six by that name
in the city.

We wanted sanctuary.
Our pandemic eviction was complete.

No one was home in the church
after dark—tale end of twilight, really.

Our boys and girls
played ring around the rosary—

a game they just made up
while clicking their tongues.

One of the boys argued this building
was the house of God

and God should let us in
to stay dry from the approaching storm.

One of our girls argued
God dwells in Heaven with the angels

and Heaven is in outer space.
She could not name the nearest star.

When the rain started,
one of our girls suggested

Fairies should kidnap all the children
away from us.

The youngest boy started crying.
He suffers from night terrors

and the night closed in
all around him, claws exposed.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

If It Bleeds It Leads

The street corner journalist
with her cell phone held high
records two policemen kicking
some spilled recycling cans
as they walk from their squad car,
how the wooden stairs bend
under the weight of their steps
as they approach a turquoise painted door
and knock three times.

Three more knocks nail the eviction notice
for non-payment on a mortgage
to the left of the door’s peep hole
and starts the count down
of a thirty day clock.

One of the two policemen stops
by the fading rose bushes,
pulls some burger wrappers
away from the highest blooms.
He pierces his finger on a thorn,
but continues to remove the other trash
to the annoyance of his partner.

The street corner journalist
with her cell phone held high
records the two policemen entering
their squad car, starting it up,
and strapping on their seatbelts.
The driver checks all directions,
pulls away from the curb
to leave the scene.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney