A Doe in Repose

Two deer next to a river. They're standing under a big tree and one deer is bent over munching on shrubbery. There's a misty fog surrounding the deer.

~Beldoc, South Carolina

A fresh kill, she looks peaceful
diagonal across the northbound lane.
Here, black asphalt whips through
tree farms, burnt corn and pinked cotton.
The 35 mile-per-hour limit
holds vigil for her as she lies
before the abandoned Whistlestop Cafe.
She must have been flushed from safety

by last night’s storm. Should we stop?
We ease beside her ––
deer ticks rim her eyes.
The next morning, blood smears on bent grass.
Turkey vultures feast on her carcass.
Someone kinder— braver—
dragged her to the ditch.

~After Lyme disease.

Printed in Fall Lines, The Jasper Project.