(Imitation of Jack Gilbert’s “Going Wrong” from Poetry Workshop in Spring 2009. If you Google “Jack Gilbert ‘Going Wrong'” then the blog where I originally posted this appears here)
The deer are beautiful. They quietly lope up
the mountain in the dawn of days, alarming
and familiar and warm beneath the forest canopy,
the dappled moonlight fading from their orb-like eyes,
Swift gears of the sunrise, the man contemplates,
Tracking them. “What do you know of my devices!”
demands the goddess. Hmph, the man grunts loudly
and raises his bow, aiming at the russet doe,
preparing heart and mind to do something terrible.
The goddess contends: “You choose on your own
to live like this. My brother raises cities where
things are human. My aunt creates fields of wheat
but you hunt my deer.” The man releases the arrow
and the blood runs thick from a perfect wound.
He leaps forward and the herd vanishes into the
safety of trees. “You have lived years without women.”
He takes out his knife to cut into the hide.
“People forget you, no one cares about you.
You are proud and obstinate.” The man slices
flesh and bones. Removes the inedible organs
and prepares the strips. I am not proud, he thinks,
opening up the carcass in the abandoned clearing
filling with new sun, shadows of vultures soaring
above the kill. Not proud, just hungry.
This work by Sarah Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License