Killing the Deer
We buried the bones by the river,
but the dogs dug them up,
a trail of pink to the front door.
In Fall the house was surrounded
with glass shards and beer cans,
a garden built on top of a septic tank.
In Winter the snow hid
that glinting mess
till the dogs rusted it
with blood-stained bones.
Years later, you hit a deer in the rain.
A pregnant mama. Remember?
It stumbled off to die and we tracked it.
You wanted to be the one
to stick the knife
through its brain
but you couldn’t.
You couldn’t even drink
the wine we bought
to take your mind off of it.
That was after the house was gone,
the bones and the beer cans,
the septic-tank tomatoes
sliced up in our evening salads.
After I left for New York and you all had to leave
because of bricks, broken glass,
We didn’t bury those bones–
the mama rotted in the rain and we drove on
to Charleston, chemical city,
shrouded in those perfect, hacked-up hills.
Wren Awry is a writer based in Tucson, Arizona. They edit Tiny Donkey, a journal of short-form fairy-tale nonfiction associated with Fairy Tale Review. Their work has been published by Essay Daily, Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness, Rust + Moth, filmmakermagazine.com and others. They tweet at @wrenawry.