Tuesday, September 21, 2021

To Tell the Tale

Or say you cross paths with a deer,
A full-grown, velvet-antlered buck
Standing athwart a country road
In the predawn dark. You brake hard,

He hesitates. You’re both in luck.
He doesn’t make the worst mistake
Of trying to leap past your lights,
And you were driving slow enough.

He half turns as you reach a stop,
And the deer and the car bump flanks,
Maybe hard enough to bruise him,
But not to dent or scrape the car.

Still, his bony antlers clatter,
And your driver’s window’s open,
A chance for a tine in the eye.
For a moment, you’re side to side.

But he’s not caught and lunges off,
And you sigh and accelerate.
Events are not stories, are not
Antlers, are not wise. You’ve survived.

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