Today's poem is by Joan Murray

Deer in the Apples
                                        for Gail Gregg

A horde of apples lying in the cleft between the trees
where last night I saw two white-tails running off.
There must be fifty of them here, all plump and ruby,
where gravity rolled them down the hill into its bowl.
Though they were swollen and heavy from the feast,
one caught my scent and ran. And one is turning
brown and another's been bitten in half. I couldn't
see them in the dark. Only the white flash
of their tails. Not the way they keep transforming
in the grass till just a few are ruby at all. One is black
and one is brass. And the other one followed and ran.

They must have come back later. One already
has a worm inside its shoulder. I was nothing to fear,
not like God who sometimes walks here in the evenings,
counting his horde, sometimes dropping a handful
to watch them roll. Only a few escape the bowl.
One lies virginal and hidden in her roots. One crashed
with a leaf and stem. One ran off with the white flesh
in its mouth. And then the little deaths crept out
and left the heap of skin. I don't know where they
went after. Somewhere gravity couldn't take them
on its own. Their bellies low and heavy. The sweet flesh
softening around the bruise from the first bite.
And the other one running off when I got too close.

Copyright © 2008 Joan Murray All rights reserved
from Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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