Back to Issue Forty-Six

Anchor Point



The archery range south
of the marina butts up
against Lake Michigan
on the Naval Station.

We like to think of it
as ours. Only twice have we
seen anyone. Once, a petty
officer on a smoke break.

Once, new enlistees
with six packs. I bring
my son to teach him breath,
aim point, to hold the bow

in tension. He climbs
the wooden stanchion,
to the shooting stand.
I hand him the hickory bow.

He pulls the recurve
on his inhale, steadies his
sights with his left hand,
rests the anchor point,

pressed on his full cheek.
He releases the arrow
with breath held still.
The target: a plastic flap

of circles. Baby blue, Nantucket
red, and bullseye yellow,
already chewed with punctures
of other archers.

He squints with one eye.
The arrow
flies.                  Thump.

He is good at this,
so I move him back
from the target. We share
an axis and a quiver.

Laura Joyce-Hubbard’s writing appears or is forthcoming in Poetry, The Iowa Review, The Sewanee Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. Recent awards include winner of The Iowa Review’s 2022 veteran writing award, winner of the 2021 Ned Stuckey-French Nonfiction Contest at Southeast Review, runner-up of the 2021 Poetry Contest at The Sewanee Review, and winner of the 2020 Essay Prize in the William Faulkner Pirate’s Alley Writing Competition. Her nonfiction was selected as a “Notable” in Best American Essays 2022. She is a veteran of the US Air Force where she flew C-130s. Laura is a fiction editor for TriQuarterly and lives in Illinois with her family and currently serves as the inaugural Highland Park Poet Laureate.

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