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Rut

Susan Stenson


The dead deer.
Rutting season, this street, Anywhere, North America.
Sally in her blue nightgown.
A last cigarette before bed.
Some stars. The suburbs.
A buck meandering. Almost midnight,
like Sally and the deer had had enough for one day
and then the car, the awful crunch and Sally running.

Her eyes wide and her bare feet
pulling away from the porch.
Shit. No slippers. Fuck. Don't die.
Stop, you fucker! November slows us down.
Ice on the asphalt.

Had she gone to bed earlier would it have made a difference?
If she'd lit candles at dinner, walked the dog, spilled the beans
a little sooner; so what?

The car Sally's chasing finally slows, signals, pulls
into a driveway on Selwyn, a few blocks down.
Parks like it's an ordinary morning after a shift
somewhere, nursing home, hospital, bar.

The dead deer.
Rutting season. Anywhere,
North America, fuck.

The car pulls into the driveway. The woman pulls
the emergency brake, checks her lipstick in the mirror,
hops out. Methodical, luminous, and Sally
standing there, barefoot, winded, "You hit a deer!"

"I'm aware of that."

After a long day.
Sally dialing 911. Sniffles.
A bit of rain on the shoulder.

"I'm aware of that."
"I'm aware of that."
"I'm aware of that."

Sally returning to the buck still breathing
at the bottom of the hill. Sisyphus.
Mortals. Small, familiar pain.
Anonymous. An osprey
nesting on the H of a Hilton.
The end of the world. The gradual goodbye.



Susan Stenson's works copyright © to the author.


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