Some time ago, a deer jumped from the ditch into my headlights.
I felt I might as well enjoy the hit—
Drive hard and fast—
Not leave her there to die a painful death.
So now with cancer –
Jumping out at me.
It’s here –
Aggressive and confused it presses on –
Too close –
Or warn --
Oh yes, I know, like when I’m driving –
Somewhere in the recess of my mind --
I’m going too fast – and kick myself
While wheeling to her tan--
Deep silence –
Dark steam –
Quiet fluids dripping –
Still fit myself –
Aware death lurks –
Bewildered in the darkness…
As life ebbs away
from one just feeding --
running free --
With keen anticipation of new fawns in spring –
And of the move to greener pastures for next year –
Somewhere with less of carnage for her family
On their paths…
I wonder what she’s feeling now
Horizon collapsing inward towards her fast --
Death’s numbness settling in
As sticky fog hangs in the air around her
Wafting out the lights of prairie night.
I walked back –
Arriving just in time
To see her lay her head down in the grass –
Despairing life -- accepting death –
Her body warm, but gaze now fixed beyond.
‘Lead time’ they say we need
If deer and cancer’s death be now avoided –
‘Lift up your eyes and drop your speed –
The other dashes onward unconstrained’.