Three deer eat in the mowed meadow

Tasting the flavor of gasoline and grass.

I see them out of the glass window

And watch the wind furl their coats.

They eat hungrily.

The gasoline will kill them eventually.

We have come by the way of the winding highway

Stopped by headlands that crash into the sea

To be greeted by these three deer.

We are in the frontier of America,

The piney forests of private property.

We come as final witness to the heritage of this land.

We come to stay

Until the deer are dead.


But the deer do not die.

They take to gasoline like lobsters to oil.

The energy fuels their sex lives.

One deer taps on the deck with cloven hooves.

Eats the potted flowers.

Glides fearlessly below a limb.

That shakes under its load of fruit.

Giant ravens attack wild turkeys

Who munch on apples

That grow on trees planted with loving care.

Skunks commandeer garbage strewn

At night by a bear

Who can climb a redwood faster than a squirrel.

A wood rat burrows deeper into the pantry and waits.


An osprey whistles as it circles the meadow.

A pileated woodpecker

Picks out low notes on a snag.

The three deer eat thistles.

A red fox smokes a fag,

Mocks the calm before the storm.

Yellow jackets swarm.

The skirmish turns into a battle.

Time for a tactical retreat

But, it’s too late.

Marauding gangs of chipmunks

Encircle the car,

Block the escape route,

And the three deer charge.