Archives for posts with tag: deer

deer crossing
Rules of the Road
by N. Hess

It’s dark out.

It might rain.

There are deer on the road.

Every time I sat in the driver’s seat, my mother’s voice echoed in my brain. Each time I clicked the seat belt shut, her old litany of excuses snapped in place, too. Reasons why it wouldn’t be safe for me to drive. Good heavens, there are deer on that road! (Which would never just cause a dent in the car—always imminent death, of course.)

Welcome to Pennsylvania, where there are deer everywhere, every night. Yet most people go about their business, perhaps driving a little more cautiously in areas where deer are known to congregate, but driving nonetheless.

But not me. I stayed “safe” by not driving. Or if I really had to go somewhere, my mother drove me. (Clearly, she was the magical accident repellent that would keep me unharmed.)

I didn’t know then that it wasn’t about safety or my driving skills—it was about control. All I knew was that in high school and college, I was allowed to drive a grand total of 11 times. When I moved away after graduation, I was equal parts longing and terrified to drive myself anywhere.

Driving to the grocery store in my new town, I had to give myself pep talks. Talk myself out of thinking I was going to die every time I drove somewhere. Remind myself that if I could just get to the supermarket, I’d be rewarded with mac and cheese.

Those two miles each way to the store felt like an eternity for over a year. But each journey yielded two miles’ more experience than before. It adds up over time, and it gave me a voice. A voice that’s louder than hers.

To this day, I’ve never hit a deer.

PHOTO: “Deer crossing” by adrenalinpura, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Stephen King once said, “The only requirement [to be a writer]…is the ability to remember every scar.” My driving-related scars inspired this story. Although those wounds don’t cut as deeply these days, they still produce little twinges and pinches sometimes when I’m stuck in a traffic jam or driving down a lonely road at night. I keep telling myself that’s what healing feels like.

Hess

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: N. Hess writes twisted fiction. She lurks in the Philadelphia suburbs and is inspired by all things dark and mysterious.

AUTHOR PHOTO: N. Hess, daydreaming about a future in which self-driving cars will be the norm.

campbell1
Summer Dears
by Don Kingfisher Campbell

1

I’m driving us
Around Crater Lake
We’re surprised to see
Small banks of snow

Daughter Emily yells
“Stop, there’s a beer”
I pull over
We stumble out

She stealthily steps
On soft white slush
There it is… a deer
All shoot…pictures

2

As we leave
The road starts winding
Again, this time
I spot a doe

On the driver’s side
We don’t even get
Out of the car
My cell phone is dead

My wife leans over me
Gets several shots
With her digital camera
Before the hind crosses

3

Now the Cube is rolling
On Highway 62
Starting to make minutes
Doing 45 miles an hour

Jenny completes
The lucky trio
Screams and pinches my arm
I stomp on the brakes

A mother and two fawns
Split up across
The shady asphalt
Six hearts beating fast

deer oregon

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: During our 2012 trip to Crater Lake in Oregon, we were very surprised to find some snow in August, but then again, we’re talking an elevation of 7,000 feet here. And she did actually say “beer.” She’s my stepdaughter and had just arrived from China.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Don Kingfisher Campbell, MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, has been a coach and judge for Poetry Out Loud, a performing poet/teacher for Red Hen Press Youth Writing Workshops, Los Angeles Area Coordinator and Board Member of California Poets In The Schools, publisher of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, leader of the Emerging Urban Poets writing and Deep Critique workshops, organizer of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, and host of the Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading series in Pasadena, California. For publication credits, please go to: http://dkc1031.blogspot.com

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MY AUTUMN LEAVES
by Bruce Weigl

I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.
I know the hes and shes in autumn
rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen
apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work
so I may let the crows in corn believe
it’s me their caws are meant to warn,
and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves
 
they know me too. They know the boy
who lives inside me still won’t go away.
The deer are ghosts who slip between the light
through trees, so you may only hear the snap
of branches in the thicket beyond hope.
I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed. 

 Photo: Mark P. Jones, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“My Autumn Leaves” is found in My Unraveling Strangeness, Bruce Weigl’s 2002 poetry collection from Grove Press. Find the book at Amazon.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce Weigl entered the Army at eighteen and served in Vietnam for one year, beginning in December 1967. He was awarded the Bronze Star and returned to his hometown of Lorain, Ohio. He earned his BA at Oberlin College, his MA at the University of New Hampshire, and his PhD at the University of Utah. Weigl is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including The Unraveling Strangeness (2002), Archeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems (1999), and After the Others (1999). Weigl has won the Robert Creeley Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Poet’s Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and two Pushcart Prizes. Song of Napalm (1998) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He has also been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Yaddo Foundation.

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MY AUTUMN LEAVES
by Bruce Weigl

I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.
I know the hes and shes in autumn
rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen
apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work
so I may let the crows in corn believe
it’s me their caws are meant to warn,
and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves
 
they know me too. They know the boy
who lives inside me still won’t go away.
The deer are ghosts who slip between the light
through trees, so you may only hear the snap
of branches in the thicket beyond hope.
I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed. 

 Photo: Mark P. Jones, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“My Autumn Leaves” is found in My Unraveling Strangeness, Bruce Weigl’s 2002 poetry collection from Grove Press. Find the book at Amazon.com.

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MY AUTUMN LEAVES

Poem by Bruce Weigl

I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.

I watch the woods for deer who never come.

I know the hes and shes in autumn

rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen

apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work

so I may let the crows in corn believe

it’s me their caws are meant to warn,

and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves

 

they know me too. They know the boy

who lives inside me still won’t go away.

The deer are ghosts who slip between the light

through trees, so you may only hear the snap

of branches in the thicket beyond hope.

I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed. 

Photo: Mark P. Jones, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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“My Autumn Leaves” is found in My Unraveling Strangeness, Bruce Weigl’s 2002 poetry collection from Grove Press. Find the book at Amazon.com.