A Poem by Peter Davis

A Poem by Peter Davis

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

The Encumbered Journey

I was looking for the destination,
moving as unencumbered as nothing is
since everywhere in the world I see
encumbering. I was going to say, The
snow! As unencumbered as the snow,
but then I thought about gravity and
temperature and remembered the geometry
of living and then, poof! There went
the snow. I am thinking of birds now,
the way they seem to struggle
for a moment behind the foliage, as if
trapped in a stick cage, but then
break free. But they’re encumbered
by the wings, the feathers, the blood — 
just like the rest of us. So, there go
the birds. It’s the destination, after all,
I’m not sure it matters who gets
there, how. The journey is for the past,
man, I’m talking about the future here,
where the lions raise their heads and
roar and the golden manes puff into
the air like they’re singing some song.
But it’s not a song, it’s the mane of
a lion and the lion beneath it is full
of fury and the road to forgiveness is
filled with fur that can’t be petted.
It is in a zoo you might recognize but
be unable to enter. It’s a sort of crab,
whose pinchers are hollow but whose
pinchers are vicious. It’s a whole leg
of butchery but only one bone of hope.

Peter Davis’s most recent book of poems is TINA. He writes, draws and makes music in Muncie, Indiana. More info at artisnecessary.com.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.