The drive-in has been out of business for a year.
A couple covid days it opened for live music.

No income to spray the hordes of mosquitoes
from the neighboring marshland.

Only two posts with speakers produce sound.
More static than dialogue.

John Wayne’s ghost wanders
the weed infested spidery pavement cracks

in search of his saddled horse
his trademark red bandana.

A cloud of arrows miraculously miss him
as he hoists his Winchester to shoot

in a movie set three years before
the precursor Henry Rifle was invented.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Honor System

Two rust laden wrought iron gargoyles flanked the gate.
They watched traffic pass on the street.
Cobwebs stranded flies between fence rods.
Paul entered cautiously.
Faded on top, a red ball remained motionless.
The knee high grass hopped with locusts.
A woman, white as a ghost, watched from the window.
Her limp hair even paler than her skin.

A photo series hung from a clothes line by wooden pins.
Black and white nineteen-forties film stars at leisure.
Often at home without make up.
The sign stated, Newly printed from original negatives.
On the table sat a locked metal box with a slot.
Hand scrawled in marker $50 each.
A box of white cotton gloves sat next to the cashbox.
Paul pulled on a pair to examine his childhood heroes.
He thought how easy it would be to pilfer the set.
A grating sound rounded upon him.
He glanced to see the gargoyles now looking in his direction.

Paul slid a greenback U.S. Grant in the slot.
He exited with John Wayne.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney