Latent Glow Spots the Wall

Darkness surrounded Paul.
He pierced it with a flashlight.

He turned the flashlight off.
The hole remained in the darkness.

Paul’s hand was frozen
as if the flashlight was stuck in a hole.

He let go of the flashlight.
It did not fall.

It remained in a glow
emanating from the hole.

Paul tried digging the darkness
away from the flashlight.

The darkness was quite firm
and did not yield to Paul’s hands.

Paul gave up on a midnight snack
and went back to bed

without the flashlight
that hovered three feet

above the living room carpet.
He slept soundlessly.

He woke to a clunk.
The flashlight laid on the carpet.

Paul picked up the flashlight
and pressed the switch.

Nothing. The batteries
appeared to be drained.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Pent Up

Paul let his hammer sing
through the air and crash

on two small plastic toys
that broke previously

under his boots
because he did not bother

to carry a flashlight
on this well known patch

of woods and rocks
last night after dark,

returning from watching
a cormorant at dusk

out of place
on a beaver pond

on the stream
carrying snow melt

down the unvisited
mountain top.

Paul’s dog flinched
each time the hammer struck

and little pieces flew
in all directions

for Paul to vent is rage
at turning his ankle

a deep blue-black
and swollen

after sidestepping
other might-be toys

and landing on
a tree root wrong.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney