Encroachment

Encroachment

by Ruminate Magazine November 06, 2019 1 Comment

John Sibley Williams's poem "Encroachmentis the winning poem from our 2019 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize and was selected by final judge Craig Santos Perez. It appears in Issue No. 53: Shelter.

________

JOHN SIBLEY WILLIAMS
ENCROACHMENT

Yes, any evening field, where deer thank the wolves
for diverting a hunter’s love; whatever it means to be
lesser prey—we’ll take it. Yes,


x


to keep the wild in its place
or have something to hand a son
harder than a woman’s

body—also

the dug-under barbed-wire fencing
meant to shelter gentler animals wholly
inadequate, now, the way things are now; yes


x


—but it’s more than hunger;
that light that never leaves even after the eating


x


arouses or—a kind of progress—desensitizes, less
out of moral weakness than the more more please
more of living this long, which demands a degree


of distance: physical & emotional. Orison
is an archaic word for prayer. Prayer is an archaic word
for loving at least one thing more than myself. I refuse

                     to love equally

the bullet & its target. That we are all targets; some,
thankfully, lord, not today.

________

John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a freelance poetry editor and literary agent.

 

Read the other poems, stories, and art from Ruminate's Issue 53: Shelter.  

Photo by John Royle on Unsplash.




Ruminate Magazine
Ruminate Magazine

Author



1 Response

Janice Bethany
Janice Bethany

January 23, 2020

I love how this poem travels and the structure takes you THERE. Most commendable.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up. We don't allow comments that are disrespectful or personally attack our blog writers.


Also in The Waking

Put Down the Ducky: Sesame Street Wisdom for the Age of Attachment
Put Down the Ducky: Sesame Street Wisdom for the Age of Attachment

by Guest Contributor February 20, 2020

I love my thinking mind. I have awesome thoughts; they keep me responsible, help me earn a living, form my sense of identity, entertain me. I’m scared to put them down, even for a short ten minutes.

Read More

MaDear + Gran
MaDear + Gran"Daddy"

by Ruminate Magazine February 19, 2020

Letitia Huckaby's visual art appears in Issue No. 54: The Everyday.

Read More

All Saints
All Saints

by Guest Contributor February 18, 2020 1 Comment

Perhaps, I might be excused for wondering, who in the hell loses their vision at 29? Answer: the same people who die at 34, who leave behind widows, who fight in wars they do not believe in, who waste away in prisons for beliefs deemed inappropriate.

Read More