by Molly Sutton Kiefer
this is what we saw: deer
with shucked hides, exposing the marimba of ribs
and red muscle—others, burned black
from rubber’s horrible offices or so scattershot
with flies as to be costumed in moveable scruff.
There are the bloated boats and ripped-aways.
Bird tatter, chipmunks made into flapjacks among
curls of tire, black spinnerets.
When they came upon the dead deer in the woods,
she had to press one hand into another, as if in prayer,
stayed against the lifting the tongue
back into the cave of its mouth,
keep her from plucking the hungry burrs.
He remembers too, the startle of sudden stopping—
that New Year’s when the shock of deer
scattered like pool balls in the crust of snow.