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To Settle

To Settle

He’s young

A boy, really

Sweat makes the fabric cling

To muscles

It could be that his torso is strapped

With explosives

Or that he worries

About food

He greets a merchant

He knows well

Produce, ready

And restored cell phones

Within a plastic container

Beneath the peaches

(If you know to ask)

On blind streets


Weigh upon the shoulders

Of mere boys

Uniforms present them

In some grave motley

For which they lack the jest


In a sliver of shade

Beneath the

Staring sun

From a relative silence

Missiles are invoked

The light of the sun too close

And the impenetrable

Dust cloud

Takes a lifespan

To settle

Desmond Rutherford is an educator, poet, runner, musician, and artist. He has self-published the following collections of poetry: 26.2 Poems About Running, Fishing With Hildegard, Resistance is Fertile, and Swimming in Soups: Haiku and Short Poems. Recently he created an audio version of Fishing with Hildegard, with long-time collaborator rblake, who composed and performed the music to accompany the poems. He resides with his spouse in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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