The 2River View 19.1 (Fall 2014)

John McKernan

Forget About the Will. Take Long Naps

Plant more wildflowers
All around your coffin

Paste some more photos
On the lid of your coffin
Use that invisible twenty year glue

Stuff more crepe paper and street maps
And hymns and chants and harmonicas
Inside your coffin
Don't forget Ray Charles “Yesterday”

The universe is large
Lonelier than the Black Hills
Most people try to avoid a diet
Of pulverized sundials
And dehydrated Omaha water

In the Museum I Know I Know I Know

I should be learning something
Looking at brilliant feathers

Of an eagle
Rearranged into a war bonnet
As art

But I keep thinking
Of the little kids down the block
Who found the electrocuted eagle
With a mouse in its claws

How they spent an hour
Plucking every feather
From the bird
Pushing a few into their hair
Stuffing the rest into their pockets

John McKernan has published poems in The Atlantic Monthly, Antioch Review, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He lives mostly in West Virginia, where he edits ABZ Press.

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