Superb White-Tailed Buck

Don’t be fooled by grace that the animal
is benign—it hungers like the rest of us.
Doesn’t it growl to warn, and didn’t you see one
kick a dog dead? A felt presence nudges you
from a dream-rut and through glass a deer grins
abashed as if caught in trespass, with bared teeth
perfect and square as celebrities’. It could maul
your lip with its horsey bite and tear it, in fact
didn’t you dream so, felt the night peel you?
The muzzle sniffs hankering salt, and wasn’t your dream
sweat-crusted? And didn’t your own salt craving
guzzle broth that burnt all the way down, and still
you’re scalded. The dark eyes seem warm
but haven’t you always
misread a glance and loosed buttons
your view sweetened by a waking pink.
Morning, tracks in snow tell a corporeal deer
did stand at the window, shuffled its steps
as if restless, lifted its scut and left pellets.

Susan Buis studied visual art in Saskatoon and creative writing in Long Beach, California and now lives in the grassland hills outside Kamloops BC. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in journals including CV2, Grain, Event, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, and The Malahat Review. Her writing has won some awards and been longlisted for CBC Canada Writes several times.

 

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

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