Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fallen Deer

A deer fell in our yard the other day,
A doe, she tripped upon a rock,
She staggered down into the street
And fell, and then rose on wobbly legs
And crossed the street. The doe lay down
Beside the road, her head and ears were up
She listened, and she watched.

Raoul was working in a yard nearby.
He saw the doe fall, also saw her fawn
Who ran away.
My husband Fred came home,
The deer was still reclined
Beside the road. He called the vet who said
Call animal control. They’ll help the deer.
Raoul had called as well.

Fred stood and watched beside the road,
He set a barrier so cars would not speed by
And spook the resting deer.
The two men waited for the doe to rise
And disappear into the trees and lawns.
They waited for her fawn to reappear.

Animal control, it seems, knows only to destroy living things
That lay perhaps in pain beside the road.
They did not question how the doe was hurt
Or whether, given time, she might get up
And find her fleeing fawn.
Get out, he said, and I will put her down.
No argument would stay his course.
A single shot. The doe was gone.

We set out manna for the fawn
Food recommended for an orphaned deer
Three days gone by, the fawn appeared
Alone, with faded spots, it looked across the road
To where its mother died, and then it left.
The deer food stayed untouched.