Downhill Toward a Hairpin Curve

Paul drove his dad to the hazardous waste dump.
His dad radiated a cobalt blue glow.

This glow was his nature shining through his death
as the body initiated decomposition.

He was a mean old cuss who was not afraid
to shoot your dog to make a point.

Paul feared the incineration of cremation
would release toxic particulate into the air.

He wanted professionals who would neutralize
the acid tongue that spoke from a heart of darkness.

He was sure he would have to junk his car
once this ride was over.

Nothing would get that blue glow
out of the upholstery.

The Geiger counter he carried on walks
through the desert near Los Alamos clicked regularly.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

You’ll See Someday It Will Happen To You

Not aware that he was cursed
Paul walked through the shopping mall
totally unaware he radiated
this sensation that caused people
to be disappointed in him
for random reasons
that had nothing to do with his life
but the life of the person
who came in close proximity to Paul—
which is a measure of two meters
an anomaly in America which uses inches
feet and yards.

On a day when no one sang
Happy Birthday to Paul
a woman with a device
clicking like a geiger counter
approached him.
Her device drowned out her words
which appeared to be a simple greeting
on the lines of Hullo. My name is ….

Without so much as a by your leave
the woman hugged Paul.
A long disarming hug
that approximated a hug
of a beloved wife whose husband
had been away at war
for four or five years
and just now returned to their doorstep.
That image suggests
a long passionate kiss should ensue
and a news photographer would capture
the warmth and release of worry
but this woman had just met Paul
and was not that outgoing.

What did happen was the clicking device
became totally silent.

The woman speaking with a French accent
asked Paul to coffee at the Starbucks
at the corner of the street
where he happened to be walking
when she located him.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney