Poetry: William Stafford, Wendell Berry and Linda Garrow

Poetry from the field.


| May/June 1984





Conventional publishing wisdom claims that it's a mistake to run poetry in a "consumer" magazine. However, although that may often be true, we're convinced that MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers are the kind of people who look for beauty in the practical and search out practicality in the beautiful . . . and who realize that good poetry can be useful as well as inspiring. In fact, the best of poems can help us recognize the wonderful—and often well-hidden—similarities that all humans share . . . and, by doing so, can make each of us feel a little bit less alone. The poetry included in this occasional feature—be it brand-new or previously published, written by a recognized poet or a first-timer—will be material that, in the eyes of MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors, helps us see ourselves in the words of others. It's that quality, and the fact that the work presented here will reflect the range of subject areas usually presented in this magazine, that gave this feature its name: Fieldbook.  

Traveling through the Dark  

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.





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