Annunciation: poetry

by John Estes

When staring down barrels

the crucial thing’s refusing to favor one over another.

Not assuming to judge which way

to dodge. The apex of stereo

vision, call it democracy in action.

Without certain limits, a body

is bound by its own expectation.

But within what is given, practice

takes hold and presses upon what needs to emerge—

little arm uncrooks from seed in warm

wet earth—most tender opiate not

refusing, a promise some yoga

and therapies make but only on the far side of tedious effort.

Call it concentration,

a jumper’s simple-mind just before the jump.

Once the decision is no longer it—

and by it I mean the vanishing point toward which translations aim—

you’re past drawing beads on clay.

The slant by which you lived has passed

beyond what any coefficient of reasonable force can counter.

Need is no longer so, well, necessary.

Eyes turn in, and by fiat bid all things shoot.


This originally appeared in Dogwood 2005

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