Barry Peters


Pity the whale and the dolphin
binoculared by floppy-hatted tourists.

Pity the cicadas, risen after seventeen years,
ogled from front porch rocking chairs,

the rubberneckers with sweet tea
in one hand, awe in the other.

I’d rather be curled in a corner,
the ear-budded boy the teacher ignores.

A monk in a cliff-cave, or Monk playing
far-out notes sans the snapping fingers

and tapping feet of the local hipsters.
No wonder the groundhog flees

the lights, the cameras, the gods glaring down.
His own shadow, lurking in the brilliance.


Barry Peters lives in Durham, NC, with his wife, the writer Maureen Sherbondy. He teaches in Raleigh. Publications include The American Journal of Poetry, Best New Poets, New Ohio Review, Poetry East, and Rattle.