You have to go really far back into the past
to discover the guy who invented War.

It could be it was created by committee
but I bet it was one guy.

It probably had something to do with a woman
but was not the woman’s fault.

His genetic fingerprint traces through the ages
up to present day Oregon

and some Fox Opinion watching militiaman
whose recent ancestors killed Indians

in the American west
on the land he now claims as his forever.

He smokes Marlboro cigarettes
because he has to wage war against his lungs

as well as the local sheriff
and the town’s parking ordinances.

He has thirty-seven outstanding parking tickets
with fines and late penalties over twenty-five hundred dollars.

If he could he would pin the tickets to his chest
like ribboned medals of valor.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

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