The latest newspaper
sits on Paul’s breakfast table.

Its headline is blank.
All the stories are below the fold.

Now that it is here
this dreamed of day shakes him.

He never expected to be frightened
by the blank page.

But there it is. No news
is not good news it seems.

The stories below the fold
are so saccharine

that Paul quits reading each story
after a few lines.

What happened to the world he knew?
How will his type-A behavior be interpreted now?

Can this still be America
without a gruesome headline

to evoke our chosen and embraced
Darwinian socio-economic struggles?

At least his blueberry scone remains constant.
But, his coffee is now black tea.

And he wears a wool suit on Saturday.
This is all too civilized.

Where are his murderers and rapists?
Why is he hearing castanets instead of gunfire?

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Style Section

I have forgotten
what it is like to get newsprint on my fingers
from reading the morning paper.

My Washington Post subscription
is online only.

I miss perusing paper pages,
stationary ads,
filling in the crossword with ink,

fire starters of balled-up pages,
packing material…

In either format,
I never read the style section.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney