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.
I read a poem in school almost fifty years ago where deer offer themselves up to the hunters, are killed, cooked and eaten and so invade the hunters’ families’ bodies –the term was used: /takeover from within/. But I don’t remember anything else about it anymore, except that the teacher’s name was Elaine and she was really pretty.
I can’t seem to find that poem by searching. Do you know it?
(Also, I’ll be reading /your/ poem and the Heisenberg piece this Friday night on KNYO-LP.)
I don’t know that poem. It sounds somewhat reminiscent of The 1978 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Clearly that theme would be interesting in the time of Covid. As usual, thank you.
Damn, David–you hit that one out of the park!! I especially like the smoking fox. Nine out of ten foxes agree: Luckies are less irritating!