Neil Kennedy


Remember how whisky
poured into a tumbler
is one finger, two fingers,
three fingers deep,

how we’ve measured miles
in hands and in feet,
how outer-space distance
is measured in time,

describing the universe
just as we have found it?
This tree branch is roughly
the length of my arm.

This whole tree is only
the size of my body
on top of itself
about twenty times.

A bullet can pass
through the body benignly,
or rupture an organ,
or shatter a skull.

There isn’t much keeping
the street from the sidewalk,
but who’s nervous walking
with cars speeding by?

When turning one’s head
or measuring carbon
emissions, a distance
is made by degrees.

How short of a distance
can ruin a life?
It isn’t too far
from blood cell to brain.

Neil Kennedy is a poet and librarian. His book A Jigsaw Puzzle is available from Finishing Line Press