Like a crushed, jagged brain.
No beat or synapse pulses
Where it sits behind the shed.
All is unnaturally calm the way
Operating rooms are after everything
Has been tried, the surgeon has backed
Away and removed her mask, nurses
Disconnect all life-sustaining devices,
All silent except for the clanking of tools
Being placed on trays and wheeled away.
Soon the patient is lifted onto a gurney
To be awaited by mourners, those for whom
The body is all they have and so they can’t let
It go. Not yet. So now he has wheeled this corpse
Into the waving September grass to await eternity.
Only a few birds have cared to mourn. Tree limbs
Lean down to caress the hollowed-out eyes
Which look out unseeing into darkening prairie,
Where wind and sky collide time after time.
Before a raucous crowd of jays.
~ Thomas Reynolds
Bio: Thomas Reynolds is an associate English professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, The MacGuffin, Flint Hills Review, and Prairie Poetry. Woodley Press of Washburn University published his poetry collection Ghost Town Almanac in 2008. His chapbook The Kansas Hermit Poems was published in 2013.
Guest Editor James Benger is husband and writer. His work has been featured in Coal City Review, Comma,Splice, Hoarding Words, Kansas City Voices, Kiosk, Periphery, Runaway Pony, Thorny Locust and To the Stars Through Difficulties. His ebooks, Flight 776 and Jack of Diamonds are available from most digital retailers. He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife.