Moving Targets
by Derek JG Williams

Birdsong, the tossed lasso

uncoils note by frayed
note, singing—

birdshot, and a smudge

scared-up into powdered
air—wet feathers

in high grass, wet feathers

in the bird dog’s sweet
muzzle—her sweeping tail.

I stow our gear low

in the pickup bed, sip black
coffee from stainless steel.

Dark-wet nose to dirt,

the dog wanders off—
godspeed, the day.

At work, slinging drinks

under neon, the dog
sleeps underfoot.

Last patrons slink out

into the dusty dark,
the parking lot’s

lights go out one

by one—the locks
click into place behind

them. After toweling

down the bar, I count
the take. I take

count, reaching toward

another tomorrow,
the empty sky, a witness.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

derek williamsDerek JG Williams puts words into rows both long and short. He’s an MFA candidate at UMass Boston. His poems are published or forthcoming in Prairie SchoonerNew Ohio Review, and Best New Poets 2013.

See all items about Derek Williams

Visit Derek Williams’s contributors page.

Leave a Reply