Last Conversation

Years ago, Margo and I met
by the only window in the psych ward
and dreamed of eating Kung Pao chicken
in a little joint with red and white
checked tablecloths
that you normally find in Italian restaurants.

That same day in Milwaukee
Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested by police.

Margo told me she always wanted to be a writer
but her poor penmanship stopped her
from freeing into the world
all her personalities.

I promised when we got out
to purchase dozens of paper tablets
a fountain pen and a box of ink cartridges
so she could write.
I guaranteed her that her penmanship
would improve with all the pages.

She turned to me tears in eyes
and stated she lost who she was a moment ago.
We searched all night but Margo was not
on the ward anymore.

copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney

Message From On High

Do the dead
pardon us
for our trespass
against them
during their lives?

And for speaking
ill of them
after they
are gone
to memory’s pasture?

The postal service
a postcard
from my father
fifty-two years late.

It was a photo
of Aspen, Colorado
and its snow glossed
with a blurred

blue note
in his poor
that I could not

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney