Davis McCombs

July 17, 2012 McCombs Davis



I never walk past that gate I don’t recall a rifle butt, two sharp yelps,
the smell, oddly enough, of corncobs. Hush now. And this: like
something seen through a fire’s yanked sparks: the lime-green
truck, a pencil nub in the glove compartment, and beyond, the
winter dark scraping its antlers at the passenger window, and out of
pitchlessness cattle, suddenly, smoke-breathed, jostling, this side of
the pipe-gate, the road-side. They won’t hurt you. Staples, hogwire, a
bent t-post. You just think they will, and the old man, already a ghost
in the idling headlights, following a line of metal thorns with his

Davis McCombs is the author of two volumes of poetry, Ultima Thule (Yale 2000) and Dismal Rock (Tupelo 2007). He directs the Program in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas.