Tibet

by Bob Bradshaw
The Waters
Third Place, February 2017
Judged by Sara Clancy


Our legs gone,
we have climbed for hours

behind a flatulent donkey.
The path snakes along

a canyon wall, vanishes
into a thick fog

of snowy air. When it clears
a yak stares back at us

from the middle of the path,
a border guard

not to be taken lightly.
Steam rises

from his nostrils, clings
to his woolly layers.

Our matted hair
and heavy robes

assure him that we
are brothers. Slowly

he drifts away.
A stone kicked up

by our donkey
splashes far below

in the Yalung
Tsangpo.


Straightforward and yet elegantly evocative throughout, but I especially love the way this one opened. An amusing detail that adds a jolt of authenticity and immediacy to this strikingly visual poem. --Sara Clancy

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