Agency

Jesus was rummaging around
looking for a stray sock
checking all his shirts,
his sheets, the towels,
inside the legs of folded blue jeans
in the drawer.

It was important he find it.
He felt immortal only in this pair of socks.
He was not up to a three-way FaceTime
with the other two Holy Trinity members
without that particular woolen pair
covering his feet.

Jesus was pretty sure
a new time on earth was about to be ordered.
It would not be the overall second,
but the thirty-second time since the last pandemic.
Usually it was to take his place
along side the Doctors Without Borders.

He guessed which hotspot
would be his destination.
His calculations placed him
at an Indian Health Services Agency
on the Navajo Reservation
in the northwest corner of New Mexico.

Jesus found the sock
on the laundry room floor
where it must have fallen off
the basket edge where it hung to air dry
just as the instructions
on the packaging recommended.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Home Fries

In the intersection
outside of the crosswalk
two stray socks,
one gray with red strips,
one white with goldenrod toes,
and a small pair of overalls
printed with Winnie the Pooh
and other characters
from the Hundred Acre Wood
displayed a single set
of tread marks
as traffic grew thicker,
faster and deeper
than my desire
to tidy up the asphalt
as I crossed with the light
on my way for tea,
eggs over medium
and home fries.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

On 23 December this poem occurred on my 2.5 mile walk to the cafe that I use as my poetry office. On this walk, usually the same route each time, I regularly find clothes that are left behind on the sidewalk or in the street gutter or the crosswalk. It gives me the impression that getting one’s clothes safely to the laundromat and back home is not an easy chore. I hope it is not a case of a homeless person trying to keep track of everything they own in a shopping cart and losing part of it. That would make the loss of a few items a substantial loss.

When it comes to homelessness, I find I am more angry with Business over Government. During a period of record corporate profits the nation has one of its highest homeless populations. In my mind, because they have the money, those businesses should be hiring extra people so less folks are homeless. All of the major religions tell their followers to aid the poor. I understand there are places in California (LA and SF) where rents are so high that people working full time become homeless when a little adversity hits their lives.

I think many people forget that profit is not a goal or an end. It is a measure. It is an incomplete measure, because it does not take into account the quality of life of all the people who work in the business or interact with the business. Imagine if Google reduced its profit by 100 million dollars to employ an extra 20,000 people at a good wage. Google would still be profitable and a viable business and it would improve the lives of so many people. I believe conscientious investors would be accept the slightly lower dividend for a better country, city, or neighborhood.

I wonder how any of us would like an extra $100 of dividends if it came at the cost of 10,000 people being laid off. As an investor and a conscientious human what would that make me to profit from the pain of others? I do my best to invest responsibly on social and environmental issues.

All this thinking from two socks and a small pair of overalls outside a crosswalk on a busy street’s asphalt. Hmmmm.

Hey. Do the small things that make a difference today. You know: smile, say please and thank you, and et cetera.

Love & Light.

Kenneth