What I Saw in the Dark

Of all the animals in the woods, I had to see this one today . . .


Piercing the darkness with twin beams of light,

watching for movement on left & on right,

I travel the road in the dark before dawn,

looking for shadows that don’t quite belong.

Two objects break off, run alongside the road,

then dart left & right as if pricked by a goad.

Once my eyes have adjusted, their forms become clear:

the creatures I’m seeing are two sprinting deer.

 A doe and a buck with horns on one side,

startled by me and looking to hide,

are blocked in their path by roads, homes, and fences;

I pray that my car won’t be their death sentence.

They dash & they dart; I start to slow down

and I hold my breath, not making a sound.

Sensing a gap, the deer cross for cover,

while I simply give thanks the danger is over.

Fun Fact:

I have a fear of hitting a deer with my car, having it crash through the windshield, and being gored to death as it flails around.

6 thoughts on “What I Saw in the Dark

  1. As a repeat deer hitter, I’ve developed that same phobia. Of the 4 times I had a deer accident, the worst was when the deer rolled up onto the hood, nearly hitting the windshield. Fortunately a doe, not a buck and the hooves faced away! Terrific poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your poetic nature and this poem. This reminds me of when I moved to Ashtabula county in Ohio to pastor a small semi-rural church. Members of my congregation told me that deer could be expected to cross the roads around dusk. Most people hit a deer at some time, they said. If this happens the accepted wisdom was to hit the deer rather than swerve to avoid it. This way the insurance investigator could tell what really happened and repay you. If the deer ran away there could be doubts. I solved the problem by not driving at dusk. I’m glad your run-in had a happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I grew up in northeast PA; part of our driving skills were to keep a lookout for headlights reflecting in deer’s eyes – a skill that’s still handy where I am today. Often I’ll be driving and I’ll say “Deer to the right” and Krystal’ll say something like “How do you know?!”

      Liked by 1 person

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