Today's poem is by Sarah Kennedy


Halfway across the empty interstate, I stopped
to wipe the buck's smell from my palms. Dead
for sure, and the cop behind me was eager

to know if we wanted the meat—we'd bagged it,
after all. He'd take the antlers, if I didn't mind,
for his grandson, and I waved him on by,

no problem, still seeing the sleek flank flash
as the deer cleared the guardrail, the white
belly, turned up by then in the median grass.

Radiator-steam hissed from the ruined hood,
and I was bleached in the headlights of the trooper's
patrol car, idling on the shoulder. The husband

I no longer loved was in the back seat, no charges
would be filed, he was just filling in the details
for their report. I could almost hear him explaining

how free of traffic the road was, that we couldn't
have seen it coming, that once the animal
chose to leap, there was no avoiding the wreck.

Copyright © 2004 Sarah Kennedy All rights reserved
from West Branch
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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