Two Poems by Kenneth O’Keefe

THE GHOSTS OF NOVEMBER

Wailing, chilled winds assailed my tortured yard.
The leaves spun up from blasted grass like clouds
Of crumbling colors, with each swirling shard
Of withered leaf absorbed in whirling shrouds.

With sudden force the leaves turned to the ghosts
Of budding joys I slew that waning year.
They spiraled into images like hosts
Of demons making acts of mine too clear.

Appearing first was Kristin’s plaintive face,
Thinking how I ignored her finest grade.
My son then hunched in sadness, when the race
He won I judged a lengthy slow parade.
The grief I felt for joys I killed that year
Revealed a change of heart was needed here.

MY FRONT DOOR: A FABLE

The bloating winter rain had swelled the door
Because its dead cells had absorbed the water,
Claiming it like an occupying squatter.
I watched the wood grow till it swiped the floor
Of shining tile. This I could not ignore,
For now its scratching was prepared to slaughter
My vinyl. Thankful to be a shrewd spotter
Of trouble, I decided that before
It worsened, I would shave wood off the bottom,
And keep the scrape down to barely a trace.
I planed the fatted door like threshing autumn
Shears leaves from trees. Hanging it back in place,
I saw that its constricted size had come
To where it wouldn’t mark a fragile face.

Kenneth O’Keefe is a retired teacher who lives in Pittsburgh. He writes, “To me writing is much like praying, for it removes me from the narrow perimeters of my mundane consciousness.” His poems have appeared in The Penwood Review, Sacred Journey, Tucumari Literary Review, The Poet’s Pen, and other journals.