Tossing your firstborn
above your head like a rainbow.
Rename the silver spurt
in the widow’s garden
as spray from her hose
arches against azure
freshening trellised roses.
Debris on the calm lake buoys
belly up. Oars stir turbulence,
furors circling inland to dwindle
on the forgiving shore.
Arcs’ enamor flatten fast,
only to become a zigzag notion
scrolled from a jig-sawed pattern.
Truths diverge within the straight slice.
Passion’s slope blesses
like a woman’s hips, as imagination
coils desperate. I long for the slant
of her sad face, our last pleasure
warped with goodbye. I swerve
and survive deadman’s curve, allowed
by the bend of benign trees. Branches
slumped for a cross’s horizontal limb.
Sam Barbee's poems have appeared Poetry South, The NC Literary Review, Crucible, Asheville Poetry Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina, Georgia Journal, Kakalak, and Pembroke Magazine, among others; plus on-line journals Vox Poetica, Sky Island Journal, Courtland Review and The New Verse News.
His second poetry collection, That Rain We Needed (2016, Press 53), was a nominee for the Roanoke-Chowan Award as one of North Carolina’s best poetry collections of 2016. He was awarded an "Emerging Artist's Grant" from the Winston-Salem Arts Council to publish his first collection Changes of Venue (Mount Olive Press); has been a featured poet on the North Carolina Public Radio Station WFDD; received the 59th Poet Laureate Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society for his poem "The Blood Watch"; and is a Pushcart nominee.