John McKernan

The Melonoma Looked Red-Orange

On your body
Not a high-noon sunburn

In its pool
Of blue blood

The doctor dove right in
With his "switch blade" & "six shooter"
I like a good street fight
Those were his actual words

Toward evening the landscape began
To breathe again as we watched
That blind nag ride out of town
Past your death in the drainage ditch
Wearing a fresh carpet of black & blue feathers

Missing Photograph Is Found

My father has just walked up the stairs
to the front porch

My mother has her left arm around his waist

My father has lifted a huge bag of tools
from the trunk of the old Plymouth

My mother has just reached out to touch his
right arm

It is in black & white The colors would
have been blues & tans & yellows

My father is standing right next to my mother
A new swing set in the background

My mother must be holding his hand behind
her back Pressing it to her spine

My father begins to climb the first steps
to the house on Cass Street

My mother is wearing an apron over
a sun dress & her hand seems covered with
flour or powdered sugar as she reaches
out to touch his shoulder

Several family album photos are black

I have always seen those black photographs
as our parents tight in love safely out
of the range of any ear at midnight

John McKernan is a retired Comma Rancher. He lives in West Virginia where he edits ABZ Press. His most recent book is Resurrection of the Dust. contact


13.3 (Spring 2009)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFArchives2River

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