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Traveling Through The Dark

Rating: 4.2
Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason--
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.

I thought hard for us all--my only swerving--,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.
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COMMENTS
Mahtab Bangalee 03 February 2020
I thought hard for us all- my only swerving- , then pushed her over the edge into the river. // beautiful poem penned
0 0 Reply
Younger dankboi 24 May 2018
Just terrible, worst poem I ever read.
1 7 Reply
Older dankboi 24 May 2018
It sucked my dic. That is how bad it was
3 8 Reply
Alison Vargas 27 November 2017
Amazing poem I love it
3 2 Reply
Nicholas Campbell 23 October 2014
Someone online, I thought it here at Poem Hunter, remarked that the whole premise of the poem is false, because, he wrote, the unborn deer lay in its mother dead more than three hours. Stafford didn't say that in the poem: he said a recent kill, and that may mean very recent; the deer was still warm! You stand corrected, whomever you are. Nick Campbell
9 5 Reply
Dawn Fuzan 11 May 2014
Realy good poem
7 6 Reply
Brian Jani 09 May 2014
Wow, I like this one
8 5 Reply
Francie Lynch 17 February 2014
You want to read an amazing poem on the same topic? David, by Earl Birney. Long narrative poem by one of Canada's (and the world's) great modern poets.
4 10 Reply
Anne Comer 14 April 2020
My god... yes, I read it and the imagery will live always with me.
0 0 Reply
Paul Reed 17 February 2014
Heart-rendign and poignant
2 9 Reply
John Mcdonald 29 November 2012
I think the man made the right decision in not saving the unborn deer, had he saved it, it would have died of starvation and dehydration and so what he really did was save the deer from a brief painful life.
31 8 Reply

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