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PARADOX

The hand that draws the bowstring has faith

that the deer will die. The longbow bends,

the arrow points, the deer stands frozen

in the curious pose of prey before its doom.

But Zeno suggests that once the arrow flies,

it covers half the distance to the deer’s heart

first, then half the distance left and half again

and again and half again so the deer will live

and the arrow will never find its one true home.

 

A woman’s faith is different than a man’s.

She believes his strength is bowstring straight,

his heart like longbow yew, flexible but taut.

A man believes that he is not a beast–

until the string snaps, the tortured bow splinters

and his fist is arcing through the air

toward the faithful face of the woman who believes.

 

The hunter doesn’t love the prey.

He’s filed the razor edge of the arrowhead himself.

And even Zeno had to eat.  Is there faith enough

to believe in a universe where that fist still hangs

in the half-space in between, and now, a moment later,

half again?

(originally published by www.ithacalit.com)

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R.G. Evans is the author of Overtipping the Ferryman (2013 Aldrich Press Poetry Prize) and the forthcoming novella The Noise of Wings. www.rgevanswriter.com

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Stan Galloway teaches English at Bridgewater College in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. His reviews of poetry have been published in such places as Christianity & Literature, New Orleans Review, and Paterson Literary Review. His poetry was nominated Best of the Net in 2011, 2012, and 2014, and for the Pushcart Prize 2013. His full collection, Just Married, was published in 2013 (unbound CONTENT). He has written two chapbooks: Abraham (Sierra Delta Press, 2012) and A Bird’s Life, an e-chapbook from Books On Blog. He has had more than 100 poems published singly and has also written a book of literary criticism, The Teenage Tarzan (McFarland, 2010).

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