In the woods when the summer gives out
a few leaves linger
above the cyclone yellow dog,
here. Above a ridge – an old stone foundation,
and not even heard –
with yellow dog bounding
so huge, eyes just filled
with oily black, only, deer
In January, the village hires a sharp-shooter
and pays him from the general fund
to cull the herd.
The talk in the coffee shop;
how to keep them away from your garden-
marigolds, ugly fences, snakeheads,
the stupid old couple that keeps feeding them –
only feeding them is helping them starve –
what the hell do they feed them –
who feeds a deer?
Talk makes it impractical
to keep all of the commandments.
The irresistible temptation
to mull over and then judge
the everyday goings-on
with palms wrapped
around a warm cup.
In the moment autumn will hit its middle
turning away from summer
hopefully, off of the trees
before the spitting snow
weighs them down
to electric wire-downing mush, deer