Fathom Mag

Deer at Dusk

Published on:
August 1, 2023
Read time:
1 min.
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      For Mary

They leap over her fence,
eat tulips, spring peas, and
beans. They come before dawn,
but sometimes
in the evening dim,
balance on slender ankles,
gazing curiously
back at her.  

Decisive now, she calls the city,
explains the problem. We can
take care of it
, says the voice.
But there’s a waiting list so
it may take us a few weeks

She pauses, So, what will you do?

We use archers. They come at night.
They’ll be quiet so it won’t disturb
the neighborhood, and the meat goes
to places that can use it.

She doesn’t move, remembering
soulful black eyes.
But can’t you just haul them
back into the mountains?

She hears the laughter. Oh no,
we don’t have the budget for
that and they’d just come back
anyway. Do you want me to put
you on the list?

She sees survival of the gentle,
in skittish hooves.
Ahh, let me think about it.
Maybe I’ll call back
, she replies,
knowing she won’t. 

Lorraine Jeffery
Lorraine Jeffery has won numerous prizes and published many poems in journals, including Last Stanza, Ibbetson Street, Clockhouse, Rockhurst Review, Naugatuck River Review, Orchard Street, and Bacopa. Her first book is titled When the Universe Brings Us Back (2022), and her chapbook, titled Tethers, was published by Kelsey Books in 2023.

Cover image by Scott Carroll.

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