"The wind drops and the trees are antlered."
—Robin Robertson, "Hide"

Dusk, New Jersey. I mistake a haunt
of deer for women, white-kerchiefed
stooped for timber in the leaves.

Dublin, oak. A moored fleet, more than days
past the wood's last felling, knuckles up
from the painted saucers of a field.

Closer watch reveals a brotherhood
of stags in solemn rotary, claiming
brief immunity from the oldest game.

Sheep Mountain, Yukon Territory. White specks
mill the nearest range. "Local kids in t-shirts," nods
the cafe owner, "hired for tourists.

Hey, what good's the mountain," here he winks,
"without sheep?" I once believed myself
deeply intuitive and struggled to obey the tongue

I am said to speak. (To these ears, all is beautifully
misspoken.) So, laugh; your laughter
can't surprise me: I'm a pun

delivery interrupted—song whose tune you hum
mid-lyric—mirror in a tarnished spoon—cold
smoked turkey—portrait in the trees.

Copyright © 2002 Meghan Hickey. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review (Number 19, Fall/Winter 2002)
Reprinted online: Verse Daily