Today's poem is by Sarah Rose Exoo

(after Carol Frost)

The poet writes so tellingly of the kill,
hearing riot in the emptied head
of a freshly opened deer, her palms
covered with the inky blood of ambivalence
even as she puts pen to paper. But
what am I to feel, reading line after
marching line of these little deaths?
When the poet describes lovingly
the darting eyes, watery in their black
depth of understanding or innocence,
the body's upward surge, crashing
wave of moss-brown fur into ocean
of Autumn-worn trees, the bursting forth
of wild turkeys from the brush, carrying
their young in tow like so many flickering
stars, or even the low down tug of taut
wire as a great fish struggles against her,
I am left shaken by this persistence,
this obsession with bringing things
to an end. If you love the living,
what begs such swift action of interference?
The body of the deer makes a long sigh
into a bed of leaves that cools with its torn flesh
and the setting of the white sun. The turkeys
drop like meteors and the poet grabs them up
by their hooked feet. The great fish soon emerges
from the soft, dark waters, heaving,
eating air.

Copyright © 2004 Sarah Rose Exoo All rights reserved
from Terminus
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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