Meth House Two Miles Uphill Where The Blacktop Ends

The car rests off the road with no center line.
A relatively new car splashed with mud.
Mud that is night dried to cake upon the body.

Its well pronounced tire marks
groove my pasture land.
The tread pattern still damp to the touch.

Bent weeds and flowers have not yet straightened.
The windshield displays no signs of red blood.
Or spidery cracks. Only the yellow-green of splattered bug.

Footprints lead away from the passenger door.
The driver’s door too close to a tree to open.
Two sets of footprints. One punctuated by heals.

Barbwire in the grill confirms the fence gap cause.
A few goats wander free down the shoulder.
One I spot in the Nelson’s vegetable garden.

A familiar call to the sheriff after a year at this address.
A county tow truck will be along later.
Backseat duffle bag remains undisturbed.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


Peace comes at last,
stumbles through the dark,
grasps at the porch light,
settles on the glider
and there escapes
the youthful excitement
that ignites fireflies
over in the pasture,
before going inside
to wash at the basin,
then to bed and sleep.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Simple & Ruinous Hunger

In the air this morning
a fog lingered
a few feet above the ground.

Droplets congregated
on the window
over the deck.

The mountain lion
blended into the wildflowers
and fog—or mist.

I might have missed it
if not for the goat
it carried through the yard.

At the next count,
my neighbor will recognize
the vacancy in his pasture.

Unless I inform him
that the mountain lion
took his goat

and ate it behind my toolshed
where the tarp extends past
two cords of firewood.

Though I knew,
once my neighbor knew,
he would lay in wait

and some near morning
I would hear the report
of his rifle.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney