• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 03
Image by

Look Out

driving home from work
you swerve to miss the deer
    pull over    to the side of the road
    (loud deep gasps of breath)
    await the return of all your equilibrium
        alone    nerves tingling
        alone    heart hammering
        alone    trapped in boggy gray twilight
      like the night your mother died
    she was 50    you’re 50
the coincidence is like that deer

you hate    to be reminded of death
you hate    to revisit funerals
you hate    to imagine yourself in your one black dress
    you’ve defected from church
    you have no alternate way of explaining the end

when death comes        you want it to bypass all awareness
    damn deer    you curse
    damn road    damn car

you start up again at a crawl
like you’re trailing a hearse
part of a dark procession that passed this way
if your thoughts are any guide    you’ve merged right into it


Look Out

you’re jealous of the deer
    it’s already secure in its woodland home
    rapid heartbeat slowed to normal
it’s gorgeous fawn coat in stark contrast
to your bloodless cheeks

it’s a dumb animal
it doesn’t understand what just happened
according to deer logic    it will live forever
finally you’re home
but still edgy        stressed
maybe next time you won’t be so lucky
    there’s a streak of lightning out there somewhere
with your house in its sights
your husband’s ticker can’t tick forever
you kiss the man in question
then start to make supper
    it’s your regular routine
    it’s where the traps are set