Sunday Night Baseball

Paul arrived with a garden sized trash bag
full of dirty clothes, an orange peel
and the start of a story he got lost in
somewhere toward the middle
where the hero seemed like a pudgy kid
with hairy feet and a stolen ring.

The clothes were not his clothes.
He found them along the road
and on the sidewalks on his way over.
Serendipity caused him to bring along
the garden sized trash bag in his left hip pocket.

The orange peel was actually two half orange peels
he picked up in our yard
unaware that we cut up one orange a week
and put it out for the song birds
on the belief or mistaken belief
it makes their songs sweeter.

The middle of the story is set in Middle-earth.
Which is something of a translation of the Norse
word Miðgarðr for this earth.
The one we live on now
with its pandemic and catastrophic hurricanes
and rise of authoritarian rhetoric
by people massively uncomfortable with change.
Like climate change.

So the pudgy kid is actually a hobbit.
A creation by J. R. R. Tolkien.
In this case Frodo.
As is the story and the ring.
But the moral is pertinent to our earth.
The evil of the world is defeated
when the common man decides
to take up the burden of setting things right.

Paul washes the clothes from the garden sized trash bag
so we can drop them off at Goodwill
or another five-o-one-c-three resale shop with agency.
Dianne invites him to stay over for supper
since it is easy to add another bratwurst to the grill
and there is enough sauerkraut and potato salad
to go around.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Large Tall Tale

At the Goodwill store
I found the shelves empty
of its namesake item.

There were plenty of spoons
knives, forks, coffee cups,
shirts, sweaters and shoes.

I pictured the antebellum south
and wondered if period resale shops
had old slaves that owners tired of.

Since I stood so long in thought
a store clerk came over
to determine if I was daft or a thief.

She pointed out white porcelain
salt and pepper shakers
with bible verses printed on them.

I asked if they had a black set
with gold lettering
in the stock room.

She blurted Smart ass
then covered her mouth with her hand
and fled back to the register.

I should have left the store immediately
but lingered going through wool sweaters
as if they possibly had my size.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


People took their senses and left.
They exited through a fold in time.
Their path was lined with palm fronds.
Their path was lined with paintings of palm fronds.

The moon stalls in the heavens above Chicago.
A layer of ice slicks Lake Shore Drive.
A whiteness flattens the landscape perspective.
A whiteness evaporated lifting everything.

People entered a backdrop constructed of Goodwill items.
A thick salt shaker glowed a phosphoric white.
Its glow burned eyeballs at ten paces.
Its glow burned a lattice of family silhouettes into memory.

The moon starts across the heavens.
It is done with showing us the same face.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney