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Monday, November 02, 2020


by Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Missy Mandel photo on Instagram via Pinterest.

Yard signs shimmy in November’s wind.
They only have to last two more days.
Our deer huddle as snow sifts over their backs.
There is something to see here: the way
they groom each other. No one is in charge.
They browse downed yellow leaves
then chew for hours against the fence, safe
from cars, dogs, the buck that moves through
like he owns the place. Like them, we want
to live out our destinies. To kiss each other’s
velvety ears and bank our spines together
for warmth.  The signs are red, white, blue;
the deer are almost invisible against the fallen
leaves, the pine needles.  If only human congress
could learn deportment from the deer. Winds
through the branches promise nothing. 
No party affiliation. Deer days will be the same. 
Simple. Without rancor.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske spends her time looking out windows, managing two nonprofits (Poetry Society of Michigan and Friends of Poetry in Kalamazoo, Michigan, or Kamala-zoo, as some call it), and hoping to meet Olive Autumn, the newest member of her family.