by | Jun 26, 2019 | Poetry

I step out on the deck, see my dog’s rapt stare, tail pointer-stiff
—a pose that’s almost reverence.
To follow where he’s gazing, I grab the binoculars I keep for spying
on a pair of buzzards.
One’s perched on the bole of a dead oak left standing
near the creek
where two men are hiding beside a bank of willows:
the older one’s sitting on a stump,
knees wedged apart like someone playing a large instrument,
a cello or bass,
while the younger bows his head against the other’s groin.
Their bodies a tableau the buzzard ignores,
his bare head indifferent to their desires, because he’s
preening himself like a god,
wings hunched open, brazen as a flasher’s coat.
His feathers fingering the air—catching that extra bit of sun
making its way
through each barb and barbule, through rachis and shaft
—savoring the heat we’re all made from.
VOYEURS by Jeanne Wagner

Photo used under CC.

About The Author


Jeanne Wagner is the winner of several national awards: most recently the Arts & Letters Award, The Sow’s Ear Chapbook Prize and the Sow’s Ear prize for an individual poem. Her poems have appeared in Cincinnati Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, North American Review, Southern Review and Hayden’s Ferry. She has four chapbooks and two full-length collections: The Zen Piano-mover, winner of the Stevens Manuscript Prize, and In the Body of Our Lives, published by Sixteen Rivers in 2011.