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Arrows Shoot Through Us

ISSUE:  Spring 1994
Petrarch had it only half right,
his appositive, the deer dying
happy, wounded as it were
with the arrow through the heart
being both the reminder of love
burning pleasurably and inexorably
and the remainder of life,
fleeting and filthy.

Foolish man, quivering so
over his words as if indeed
one language were dearer
than any other,
as if he didn’t know why
God so sharpened his tongue
only to take away his love
before he could impress her.

How we do, too, so often
forget what Petrarch forgot—
how God has made arrows
of us all, honing and polishing
us into brash readiness
only to ruffle our feathers
in some quiver until needed
to light like the wind through the world.


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