Thanksgiving Poem

Young buck drags

……….his hindquarters –

eyes for escape –

………across the unlit road.

The car ahead

………had swerved, pulled

off the road

our friends out of their car

………shaking, pacing, Oh Jeez! Oh Jeez!

in a field, behind

………the struggling, the useless

legs.  Call the police.

An accident.      Flashlight.      A shot.

Heaving steamy breath.  Second

shot.  To the head.      Silence.

………Policeman pulls

the carcass to the gravel shoulder.

………Highway crew’s morning pick-up.

Again the moonlight, white

………frost, empty fields.

.

Farther up the highway, a country tavern,

our friend’s son, bartender

and chef, serves us

whiskey, no

ice, no flourish –

his friends go

………for the carcass, the precious meat

cannot be left

………to spoil.  Out back

the buck is dressed.  The tenderloin

removed and fried with onions

and carrots.  A white plate is

passed along the bar

for sharing, thinly-sliced dark-colored

venison, one communal fork.  The plate

………reaches us, we hesitate

a moment.  The taste

is wild, it tastes

………like running.

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