Spring 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 2 Poetry |

Peace Sign

He hitched and balanced this quiet outcome of his carpentry. Finding traction on the roof, he waved the hammer, keeping the rhythm safe, and marked the Dutch facade with code against fatality. It was like a tree trunk with its roots in a circle or a missile on three legs safely contained. He said the trucks could see it from the interstate that growled at our foundation. Even at night they could—it was so blue-white and moon-wide. Would we live in a target? In our scratchy lot's blackberry patch I studied webs: fly-fouling bull's-eyes made tatted landings to rest a spider. They are so serene in their quaking, crocheted over and under. Snared prey—young protesters—marched down below: from our symbol we could see police wedge into students hit softly by the sun. Then, with binoculars, we flew down close to witness an officer pound a boy with the wooden emblem of his weakness: his skier's crutch.           If we were to look back years, w

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Sandra McPherson is the author of twenty books and is retired from teaching at the University of California at Davis. Her twenty-first book, Quicksilver, Cougars, and Quartz, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry Press. Recent poems appeared in TriQuarterly, Poetry, Plume, Iowa Review, Crazyhorse, and Ploughshares. She founded Swan Scythe Press.

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