SMILE First, I must confirm that the crows flock to your window. They form a shadow that some find threatening and others a comfort. The shadow changes constantly but most people claim that they see death in the blackness. You claim it is your own death you see in their wings, but you say they are the white wings of the angel that is your mother in the fullness of her youth. Second, I must confirm that you are on the doorstep, that your cancer has proceeded to a point of no return to your body, this life we shared. It is time, you said, for you to begin your education of the afterlife and to give back your water to the clouds. Third, I must report that you are wildly happy to be punching the time clock as you will to me any gold that is in your body— a trace metal I believe collected in your eyes to sparkle and glint when you looked at me with that loving smile of yours.
TAOS CANYON In the desert you smell the rain storms before they reach the horizon. Salt-tinged, they taste of hope. The magpies and curve-billed thrashers shimmer in the heat that bends the highway. This sun distorts my affections. The scent of sage, juniper shear the bailing wire constricting time. I slide into an echo and swim.
Taos Canyon was first published in The Cliffs: Soundings, Summer, 2005 and in Kenneth Gurney's book, Writer's Block, 2009.
Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA with his beloved Dianne. He edits the anthology Adobe Walls which contains the poetry of New Mexico. His latest book is This is not Black & White. To learn more visit http://www.kpgurney.me/Poet/Welcome.html