Making Sure
by Jeramy Dodds

copyright © Jeramy Dodds, 2008

Deer, a jackrabbit the size of a motorcycle.
– Tim Lilburn

Hit quick, the road-wasted stag
fell like the sick sorrel horse
we hunted by syringe
in a 3 x 5 pen. His fallen
figure-skater sprawl
drew out our awe, lying
on his own canvas of blood,
iron tailings from a ran-down mill.
Overcoated men with leather bags
of tinctures and bitters
couldn’t bring him around.
Witnesses stood, arms crossed,
afraid their hands might reach
for the debris of muscle guyropes
knifed by the blunt bumper of an SUV.
Looking aside I saw
a young woman come out
of the woods and work
her way through the crowd,
coming to rest in a kneel
at the buck’s breast.
We moved to halt her
but she heeled us with one hand
while the other slid to his snapped
sapling crown. She rubbed her fingers
gently down his brow, grappling his snout
to bring his half-yard of neck right round.