Nightmare: Group Archery Mishap Necessitates Big Ask



Truly, you are a certain height. I am a different height.

Also, I am not you.


You are a little taller so I can lean in.  Per my story,

I got arrows stuck in my shoulder—why wouldn’t arrows give me direction?—


and ran in circles, trying to hide them with my linty cardigan.

One of us said our dreams were the right height


for each other. One of us

said warmly, “You’re so me,


like it was a comprehensible statement.

Somehow, I try to avoid needing you


even if I am dreaming, even if there are no stakes to needing.

But I didn’t have any better ideas, couldn’t keep teaching archery or telling tall tales


without different hands reaching in, asking what gave me direction

to next give me mercy.













Amy Poague is an Iowa City-based poet working at a junior high. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University. Her work has appeared in Yes Poetry, 8 Poems, where is the river :: a poetry experiment, The Cabinet of Heed, Juke Joint, The Mantle, SWWIM Every Day, Really System, and Ghost City Review. She can be found online at and on Twitter @PoagueAmy.