Red Throne Bluff

  • A copperhead suns himself on the bluff.
  • The river below silently chews its stone,
  • carves and fills its space.
  • A tractor roots through wheat in the field,
  • a metallic boar after jewels,
  • ancient charms to call down rain, ward
  • off locusts, heal the years.
  • The snake stirs and trickles away
  • through clefts in the rock --
  • dark arrowheads on his back in flight.

The New Press Literary Quarterly
Spring 1995