by David Blomenberg

We found the bow
in Grandmother’s garage,
bought practice arrows
K-Mart, and
took turns
skewering the
upended box,
circles drawn
on its rump.
Tiring of that,
in an
homage to Longfellow,
the bite
of the string
scoring a purple line
on two fingers,
we shot them
vertically, watching
the orange
fletching jet up,
the nose lower,
the shafts lost,
many of them,
in the soybeans.
The wind
caught one,
drew out the arc
of descent,
the soft steel nib
biting into
the roof
of the barn, bolt
upright like a signal.
And twenty
summers later,
grandmother’s double
once in Nebraska
and again here. The same
music, the
same heat,
the jays’ harsh cries
the same German lullaby
I sang post-sermon:
Müde bin ich,
geh’ zur Ruh,
schließe meine Äuglein zu…
the narrow handle,
the stiff walk
the uneven lawn,
the fear my hand
would slip,
the other faces
growing grim
with the
same concern,
our legs not
in concert, but
pushing faster toward
the metal
rollers under the tent.
The diagonal
across my hand
for a week
the ache
it brought,
even steering
the car
back to the house.

David Blomenberg lives in Indianapolis and recently received his MFA in Poetry from Purdue University. He has been a regular reviewer of new classical music recordings for Musicweb-international.com. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Salzburg Review, Artifice, and The Sycamore Review, which is also where his interview of Poet Laureate Rita Dove has recently appeared and an interview with Ted Kooser will soon be published.

Back to Issue Ten: Winter 2011