I did not think pregnantly
during my pause.

When a week’s passage
finally hit me,

I transposed the letters in baby
into all possible combinations

on the hypothesis one would raise
the shadow-cloaked mountain

skyward into the sunshine
so the tide might be spied

on the ocean’s gulf coast
where beaches stand void of people

afraid of virus contraction,
knowing intubation

stifles a patient’s
fearful moans.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


Somewhere there are traffic signals
and instructions
on reconstruction
of civilized laughter.

All roads lead to tap dancing.

Crazy Glue back together
all the promises
you broke
and celebrated with champagne.

All roads lead to a fever.

Eventually a virus finds us.
No matter how well we hide.
No matter our tax bracket.
No matter our haircut.

All roads lead to barking dogs.

Somewhere there are traffic signals.
Yellow still means go very fast.
Thimbles hang from the crossbars
to catch the sleepwalking rain.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Won’t Roll Over Won’t Play Fetch

Covid nineteen
does not care about your social life,
your vacation plans,
your business’s bottom line.

It punches you in the breast bone
that causes a little cough
which signals the transformation
of your lungs into glass.

Maybe not tonight, but soon,
is when a slight wheeze
gives way to the hospital bed
with oxygen masks and monitors

to full intubation
so a machine can do
what your body took for granted
your entire life.

Covid nineteen knows
three percent of you die
as long as the hospitals
are under capacity

but that number
sky rockets to ten percent
once the hospitals suffer overflow
and lack of proper equipment.

Covid nineteen
does not give a damn about your faith.
Will happily infect all denominations
and the atheists too.

It separates and isolates you
from your loved ones.
Say what you gotta say today!
before it takes your breath away.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Curve Ball

Curve Ball

Paul calls at one a. m.
I can’t sleep, he says.

Are you okay?
I thought the virus would be over

Like a flash flood from a storm
that tears away a few shingles.

We switch from phones
to FaceTime.

A spoon barely projects out of
a carton of ice cream.

He wears his Cubs cap in bed.
His eyes dart to and from the camera.

I needed to be sure of you.
I sent a check for the fifty bucks I owe you.

This goes on for an hour.
I fix a snack of cheese and crackers.

I pour a glass of almond milk.
I get seven words in edgewise.

After Paul hangs up I fall back to sleep,
dream us playing catch.

A green baseball with little red prongs
that sticks to our fingers for the filthiest curve ball.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney