Childlike they pant
like after the longest race
they ever ran at age five.

They have graduated
to colored pencils from crayons.
Now they have white paper.

Next to their drawings
they write poems
without academic structure.

They clamor for magnets
and the refrigerator’s surface—
the pinnacle of their success.

During the week
their poems go unread
caged by the colorful drawings

instead of framed off-center
with illustrated clapping hands
providing the approval they crave.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Not Alone

If you notice
my multiple-
personality disorder,
I’ll tell you
it is from
trying to be
the person I know
each of my friends
needs me to be.

The Disorder
allows me to be
my own choir
or baseball team
or wolf pack.

So do not fret
about me getting cold.
In those times
I snuggle up
to my selves,
when I miss
my departed twin.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


This poem rose from a cafe conversation about people who try to be the person others need them to be and lose themselves in the process. An oddity that came out during the conversation is that the three of us all had a belief we were part of twins in the womb, but were born without the twin. So that got worked into the poem at the end, because there is a feeling of loss that presents itself every now and then.

I do have a habit of joining in on other people’s conversations if the topic interests me. I find it rare that my entrance gets rebuffed.

Love & Light