The Shaft

In autumn, through the trees and brush, a stag
pursues a doe, following close behind
as, seemingly indifferent, she attends
to her mysterious destinies. No twig
breaks as they glide past shallow ponds and down
along the well-worn trail that countless deer
have grooved into the mossy forest floor.
He breathes her scent that beckons and leads on.

Released from a concealed hunter’s bow,
an arrow passes cleanly through the prize,
which does not falter, flinch or hesitate
but shadows still the meek alluring doe.

The hunter, searching, finds the body whose
desire the shaft had rushed to consummate.

Jan Schreiber

Jan Schreiber

Jan Schreiber was Poet Laureate of Brookline, Massachusetts from 2015 to 2017. His books include Digressions (1970), Wily Apparitions (1992), Bell Buoys (1998), and Peccadilloes (2014), as well as two books of translations: A Stroke upon the Sea and Sketch of a Serpent. A cycle of his poems, Zeno’s Arrow, was set to music by Paul Alan Levi in 2001. His criticism has been widely published and was collected in his book Sparring with the Sun (2013). He teaches in the BOLLI program at Brandeis University and runs the annual Symposium on Poetry Criticism in Gunnison, Colorado. His new chapbook, Bay Leaves, was recently published by Kelsay Books.
Jan Schreiber

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Author: Jan Schreiber

Jan Schreiber was Poet Laureate of Brookline, Massachusetts from 2015 to 2017. His books include Digressions (1970), Wily Apparitions (1992), Bell Buoys (1998), and Peccadilloes (2014), as well as two books of translations: A Stroke upon the Sea and Sketch of a Serpent. A cycle of his poems, Zeno’s Arrow, was set to music by Paul Alan Levi in 2001. His criticism has been widely published and was collected in his book Sparring with the Sun (2013). He teaches in the BOLLI program at Brandeis University and runs the annual Symposium on Poetry Criticism in Gunnison, Colorado. His new chapbook, Bay Leaves, was recently published by Kelsay Books.