20140609

John McKernan


THE SKY

Is starting
To leak darkness

The pornographic actress
Has turned into the shepherdess
On the wall paper

The Lamborghini
Has shrunk
To the toy model
On the book shelf

Next to my books on Dada
Oh No!
The potato in the garden
Is starting to scream again
Why am I covered with dirt?



WE WRAPPED MY FATHER IN SUNLIGHT

We wrapped you in threads of incense
We wrapped you in tongues of candle light
We wrapped you in thick sheets of organ music
We wrapped you in a Latin hymn
We wrapped you in sentences which melted
We wrapped you in a white cotton shirt
We wrapped you in a blue-gray suit
We combed your hair & straightened your tie
We dusted every memory from every inside-out pocket
We slid photos in your wallet
We wrapped you in a green scapular & a silver rosary
Someone at the mortuary had stolen your ring
So you wore a white tattoo on that left hand finger
We wrapped you in silk A tiny blue pillow for your head
We wrapped you in oak the color of grade school classrooms
We wrapped you in brass
We wrapped you in shadow
We wrapped you in the echo of 211 marble footsteps
We wrapped you in church bells
We wrapped you in the red lights of Q Street
We wrapped you in the perfume of the Stock Yards
We drove past your old grade school
We wrapped you in a gust of warm air
We wrapped you in a blanket of flowers
We wrapped you in slivers of incense inside an endless litany
We wrapped you in sharp-edged shadows
We wrapped you in yellow clay
We wrapped you in blue grass
We wrapped you in a granite pillow
We wrapped you in car lights at noon
We wrapped you in leaves in ice in sunlight in snow
We wrapped you in the rosy fingers of ten thousand dawns
We wrapped you in the smell of cat urine in the sundial
                of a white plastic flower beside dog hairs & lost shoes
We wrapped you in Sunday's paper & candy wrappers
We wrapped you in hail in starlight in sleet in moonlight
                in the winds of tornadoes
We wrapped you in next spring's apple blossoms
We wrapped you in sirens in traffic in fog in train whistles
We wrapped you in our silence
We wrapped you in the letters of your name
We wrapped you with my pocket knife fingers cutting back
                the weeds on your raised brass name plate forever




John McKernan – who grew up in Omaha Nebraska – is now a retired comma herder / phonics coach after teaching many years at Marshall University. He lives – mostly – in West Virginia where he edits ABZ Press. His most recent book is a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust.
 
 
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