Saturday Poem: Egyptian Archers

In Egyptian art, one archer stands
for all archers,

their contour drawn from his thigh, his shin, his chest,
his bow and quiver,

a deck of desires slightly spread.
Archers are technicians; this frieze

shows their discipline, how they draw
as one, their almond eye a blank,

calm as the strings unsmile,
sure of their mission

the moment their missiles

They think: soon

I will recline with my lover and lyre again,
the bow’s tension gone,

the twang become strum
and gentle stroking, the hand that leads

not hungry for battle’s bloody plain, but
parting curtains, softly, to a bed

where my quiver will subside, incense slowly rise,
and the drum only of rain and conversation,

not war, nor plucked Assyrian eyes.
This arrow will save my life.

by  Derek Webster
from Mockingbird
Véhicule Press, 2015