Long Low Notes

The fog plays its horn section
over the woodwinds.

A ghost emerges wearing only
my memories.

She wraps a moonbeam
shawl around her shoulders.

She traces my body
with murder scene chalk.

Against my will
I cry myself out of sleep.

My hands reach out
to pull her close.

The fog plays its horn section
over the woodwinds.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Crevasse

Paul clings
to that one photograph
of his daughter
in her mother’s arms
from that first day
and when he looks
at the faded colors
he can still hear
his daughter yawn
her one big intake
of breath
before that
heavy blue
emerged under
her skin
and he fell
into a crevasse
that opened
in the hospital
floor while
the code sounds
became too distant
to comprehend.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Sunglasses

Over my regular glasses
I wear my dad’s sunglasses
that I took from his crumpled dashboard.
I drive out to the rural intersection
where he thought the stop
was four-way but was two
and pulled out to cross
two lanes of traffic.

As I expected the county sheriffs
did not sweep up all the small
broken bits of his car
letting traffic’s tires
push them toward the shoulder.
I search the debris seeking
a good luck keepsake that hung
from his rearview mirror.

Wearing his sunglasses
I see back in time
to his error in perception
and glimpse the truck barreling
around the curve with bad timing
or perfect timing, if you believe
in predestination.

From the corner gas station,
I purchase a cherry popsicle
and break it in two
to share it with my dad.
Still wearing his sunglasses
I see him slide in next to me
take the offered popsicle
and we share it like when I was young.

I never found the keepsake
among the bits of debris.
I left the sunglasses
by the side of the road
adjacent to a popsicle stick
with a trail of cheery red liquid
slowly navigating the asphalt
into the intersection.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney