July 25, 2012

Chris Bays

Viet Cong Crossbow

Papa told me to hold it down with my feet, to use my weight,
to pull on its string with both hands.  I couldn't, so he drew
the string back with one arm, fastened it, and placed a
bamboo arrow gently in the wooden groove, telling
me about tiger leeches, caves hidden in silence,
and festering gangrene. "You know, they
dipped the arrows in shit," he always
added, as he aimed between the plum
and cherry trees, his eyes turning
dark, the arrow slicing the
spring air, striking the
garden wall again
and again


Chris Bays teaches English at Clark State in Ohio. Prior to teaching, he was a business owner and world traveler. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals, here and abroad.                                 

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