Retainer

Paul grew up in America.
That is a lie.
The idea he grew up.

He is a poet.
As a poet he was asked
to translate the bible into plain English.

Paul’s skill at poetry was brevity.
He distilled the bible
down to as few words as possible.

It took him close to a year
as American snow
came and went and came again.

Love your neighbor as yourself.
Do not do to others
what you do not want done to yourself.

The people who hired Paul were angry
he did not mention God once
or Jesus and the twelve disciples.

They refused to pay him
for this one double spaced
typed page.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Hospice

Six paper snowflakes form a lantern,
connected, cut from one large white sheet.

Cranes flow into Geese in the manner of Escher
where the candle light brightens the walls.

In her fever dream, grandmother starches
white paper collars with butterflies.

A music box constantly reminds her
of a long ago birthday and grandpa’s gifted hands.

On the bookshelves he crafted with Winnie the Pooh inlays
rests her collection of children’s books

read to each of the children,
grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Grandmother clutches the hand-tooled
leather bound family bible

with its history of births and deaths
recorded throughout the margins of Genesis.

The original cover sanded bare
by over four centuries of rough laborer hands.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney