Childhood Reenactment

My pet mice were named
Joseph and Mary.

One of the six in the litter
had to be named Jesus.

But which one that lay
on the shredded paper nest?

Our dog enacted the roles
of all the barn animals each day for treats.

Our outside motion sensor light
was the Star of Wonder.

Three house finches at the window
played the Wise Men.

Not taking us seriously,
our local youth priest mock-blessed

the liquid inside the no drip
small animal water bottle.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Twists & Turns

The early bird changes each day.
Junco. Thrasher. Dove. One of several Finches.

Watching them I get the sense
that yesterday is meaningless.

My impression is watery Time
treats them all as duck backs to roll off.

When the hawk arrives
shadow first or on the rooftop

the cholla becomes a prickly shelter
as long as the wee birds keep clear of the thrashers’ nest.

I witnessed a dove out fly a hawk
with tight twists & turns

that any dog-fighting pilot
would envy.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Cramped

No matter
how well
Paul feeds his cat,
adding fish scraps
to her dry
or canned food,
he cannot
stop her
from wishing
to taste
the finches
she spies
on the thistle feeder
from her perch
on the bedroom
window sill.

Yet, when
she steals outside,
the enormity
of the world
beyond the door
refreshes
her knowledge
of her ignorance
of things
like cholla,
prickly pear,
and the neighbor’s
Jack Russell Terrier
that slips under
the fence slats
to tree her
in the Mimosa.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney