White Target
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White Target

White Target, 1957, (encaustic on canvas)

That white touchstone named each month, moon pins herself above the hickory; her silver boils. Cherokee call her Cold, Bony, Strawberry, Flower, Planting, Green Corn, Ripe Corn, Drying, Nut, Harvest, Trading, Snow. Since leafless poplar show bones, strawberries fill with juice, red crowns of balm draw bees, acorns rain their hail, she has come closer.

Now, May to October, a tarp covers Rognons Glacier. The Swiss try to stop Mont Blanc melting. Some day children will be unable to lie down, arms and legs plow aside the snow, signal their imprints, make legions of snow angels.

The Thanatos painter used a white clay slip; Johns' encaustic is thickened, like stirred clay, concentric bands stuck with ripped newsprint.

My news is local; Farley looked up, thought the sun was setting itself right there in the field, but it was B. J.'s stepsons burnt the old barn, four thousand square feet, but they'd walked the prize bull out first. Old Bobby didn't give them a thing in the will, got two sons of his own with Betty their mother. So they made the barn into their own fury.

For carp Farley's recipe is oatmeal, dry cherries, mashed with brandy. Tom, the pond owner, drove his Chevy straight in; divers pulled him out of a place once farm and pasture. He'd lost a son; lost Jane, his wife, who ran people off with a pistol if they didn't pay to fish. Each concentric circle keeps widening, until they jam against each other.

Farley will sit in the woods so long, chipmunks run over his thighs. A game warden gave him trouble once; "all he could get me on was a suspended license." The same guy, up at Linville, got his. Ran into the wrong man, who shot him and his dog, but cops swarmed the woods and the shooter, he's away for life.

Farley knows where ginseng grows, or blue mushroom, indigo or bluebird colored, undersides pleated. If you cut into its gills its milk runs blue. A blue is the thirteenth moon of a year, this May's white oozes silver. [End Page 7]

Tina Barr

Tina Barr's volumes of poetry include Kaleidoscope (2015), The Gathering Eye, ([2004] Tupelo Press Editor's Prize) and 3 chapbooks, all winners of national chapbook competitions. Her fellowships include the National Endowment for the Arts, the TN Arts Commission, The PA Council on the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony. Barr teaches for the Great Smokies Creative Writing Program at UNCA. Recent publications include The Gettysburg Review, Crab Orchard Review, Louisiana Literature, and Alaska Quarterly Review.

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