More Often than Supposed

Sometimes. Still. In the carnage
of Ukraine’s front lines
a soldier expels his beloved’s name
riding an explosive shock wave
or crawling across a plowed field.

The stone gargoyles of Europe
leave their edifices
and fly to Ukraine’s battlefield
to consume the dead
and take rectangular shapes.

At a critical moment one side
fails to notice that a dirty white sheet
flapping in the wind
means something entirely other than
a mud-splattered ghost.

You again, a soldier says
facing a school chum across the street
on the outskirts of Kharkiv.
He shouts, Take cover!
knowing mortar rounds are flying.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


We ate almonds and apple slices
at a picnic table.

We debated whether this public square
should be lined with fruit trees.

You suggested the drought will turn
this city into a wasteland.

We discussed the Ukraine war
as if we were military tacticians.

Your dog carried a rat it killed
and dropped it between our feet.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney