Fall 1989 • Vol. XI No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1989 |

Road Kills

In that instant the massed shadow crumples the hood of the Taurus, the doe's eye blazing in the stunned brilliance of the blown-out headlamp, and my right side plunges into darkness. Suddenly my wife beside me is awake again, stunned by the fevered image of a winter afternoon as the car lunged, in that instant changing her forever. One night last fall, speeding south of Burlington on I-87, a too-huge stag, maddened by the rush of lights and spooling green saliva, came streaming towards my car. Its branched antlers scraped along the car top before it melted into one black mass, plunging for the safety of the tree line. This time I have not been quite so lucky. Nineteen hundred bucks in damage, the doe in trauma if not already dead, two fawns wandering near the sugarhouse where nature and I collided. Deer walk upon these mountains, yes, and the old vision of a peaceful kingdom shimmers. But now our mountaintops are choking like our rivers and the great seas gasp. Once,

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