She Lies Absent

Paul triangulates
the girl of his dreams
to be in the shadow
of a witness sycamore
on the opposite side
of a creek run red.

She wears a dress
the color of turned sycamore leaves
and holds purple prairie aster
that competes
with the last of the dandelions
for the bees’ attention.

He must cross a bridge
made of aged white stone
against a rush of ghosts
groaning and wailing
amid the thunderous canon
and volleys hurled against them.

Upon seeing the color bearer drop
and old glory fall
the woman raises her arm to her brow,
in the manner of Victorian women,
slumps to the ground,
and disappears beneath the leaves.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Fears

I dare you to wave our flag, Old Glory,
over the guns that murdered school children.

Their bodies are not the pinnacle of Mount Suribachi.
Elementary and High Schools are not star spangled Fort McHenry.

Bump stock AR-fifteens. Max-capacity ammo clips.
Teflon coated cop-killer bullets. Red dot laser sighting.

I dare you to wave our flag, Old Glory,
over the guns that murdered school children.

Oh, how it rallies the fallen’s parents
to man the political battle lines against your insane fears.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

POSTSCRIPT

For those of you who don’t know, Mount Suribachi is the mountain on Iwo Jima. The reference is to the Iwo Jima flag raising monument at Arlington National Cemetery. It is known as The Marine Corp Memorial.

National Park Service website for Fort McHenry.