Inequity

Paul sat with a woman
at the bus stop.

They were with each other
without being with each other.

Unbeknownst to each of them
they shared a destination.

Paul heard the woman’s feet
complain about blisters.

The woman heard Paul’s feet
complain about blisters as well.

They both stared forward
not really acknowledging the other.

Christmas lights across the street
decked out Santa and his Sleigh.

There were reindeer too.
But no Rudolph with his red nose.

Paul and the woman cocked their heads
at the sound of a siren.

Snow began to fall.
More flakes landed on Paul.

The woman did not notice
this unfair distribution.

The bus arrived and splashed
snow melt onto the curb.

Paul let the woman enter the bus first.
There were plenty of open seats.

The bus driver paid Paul no mind once he paid.
He sat two rows in front of the woman.

A sign advertised the Frida Kahlo exhibit
at the art museum on the lake front.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Distant

Boys shatter the mirror
of a placid lake.

Their shouts and laughter roll
like thunder down the mountainside.

They take turns listening
to glacier lake chilled heart beats.

An ear pressed to a chest
bends no boundaries at their age.

They beach themselves
upon the pebbly shoreline.

The sun revives their skin
from an icy shade of blue.

Off to their right
the mountain’s saddle tapers away.

The stream runs toward city lights
with the season’s snow melt.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

A couple times in my life, when young, I was in the Rocky Mountains and went swimming in extremely cold mountain lakes. I was with other boys more out of serendipity than plan. After hiking many miles to the lakes a swim to cool off seemed natural. With the fearlessness born of youth, we jumped in.

Only on of the lakes was glacier fed. The others had snow fall nearby almost all year.

In my teens, I learned from a national park ranger that people can survive in these types of lakes ten to fifteen minutes before the cold kills them. At the time it seemed odd or misinformed because I knew we had swam in those lakes for twenty to thirty minutes. In the end I decided my memory of time was affected by the chill waters.

Love & Light. Live a good poem.

Kenneth