Winner of the 2013 New South Writing Contest
A white Ford, black gate, Georgia plate,
squeezes into our lane. In the back, a Whitetail –
tagged and slashed from her chest to hind legs –
looks back at us. Her eyes a dark glass.
Opening day for deer hunting. Cars pass
and pass. In a field, lightning bugs darted
and flashed in your hand. Half-girl, half-doe,
you started and stopped, palms cupped.
Someone carried you off and we cheered
for the boy in the clay, his heel on home plate.
It was a beautiful steal.
Did he thank the deer for her head
when he knelt above her? When he
opened her middle to empty inedible parts?
When, for a clean job, he severed her windpipe
and – hunter’s nectar – he saved her heart?