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Wednesday, May 16, 2012


by John Perrault

Image source: Lake District Life in Wordsworth's House

Deer sidle into the yard at midnight
For the blackened acorns under the snow—
They watch them from the kitchen window:
Last winter two, maybe three; this year, eight.

Seven doe, a buck, working a good foot
Down to scratch a living—nosing dead leaves,
Frozen grass, small chunks of brittle moss,
For what they have to offer:  bitter fruit.

They sit in the dark with only the lamp
Across the road for light: the buck circles,
Stakes claim to a patch up by the fence—
A doe approaches, backs off with a limp.

Neither stirs, says a word, when the last deer
Moves on.  When dawn defaults to a gray sky
Marbled with gold.  When the clock strikes eight,                                                                       
And the Sheriff arrives with the papers.

John Perrault is the author of The Ballad of Louis Wagner (Peter Randall Publisher), Here Comes the Old Man Now (Oyster River Press), and Jefferson's Dream (Hobblebush Books).  His poems have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Poet Lore, The Comstock Review, and elsewhere.  He was Portsmouth, NH Poet Laureate 2003-2005.