Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Mule Deer

Everywhere in California children
are crawling out from under beds.

The deer move like broken chairs rebuilt
in the shape of a horse. They have the faces

of cows, legs like awkward architecture.
They have killed several who lived on

my street – hunters or children who tried
to feed them pancakes. I see them every

morning as I draw my curtains. They are
destroying the garden, the squash, the tomatoes,

marigolds, string beans, the beetle-peppered
roses. They keep me awake at night rustling

the rhododendron – I imagine men with knives,
as sad children often do. The bucks rub their

antlers on the front step in the fall, the does
chase us down the driveway when we stare

at their fawns: they knock down fences, dive
through wind-shields, shadow us on our hikes.

We have town meetings, shriek about control
and acceptable losses, while they toss
our babies in the fields of wild wheat.

1 comment:

aleah said...

Ah, this is an incredible poem! Is it in any of your collections? Bravo.