after Lynne Knight’s, THE SEVERING

I sit on an antique chair
with wooden spindle legs,

as I read poems of love,
and broken relationships

with death creeping in
the same as I remember:

Our Doberman Pinscher
lifts her feet like a horse

who carries her master
of alleged noble breeding—

the family dog prances
to the upper clover lawn

with her mouth strapped
around the leg of a deer.

Horror strikes! as I see
a furry stick with hooves,

when my mother rips away
the limb without a body.

She searches the property
for the creature’s remains,

as my grammar school eyes
take in the rotten flesh—

bones scattered about
with tufts of fur bleeding

a stench into the summer air,
now etched in my psyche.

So when this fatal odor enters
the cleaves of my breath

I remember the deer going
back into the earth,

and look around me,
for death is not far away.