Listen to Rosanna Warren read this poem.
“Dawn. The moment it was
it was over.”
It was that last, euphoric summer, between
one chemo and another, when you looked out
your kitchen window and saw the doe standing
at the edge of your lawn where the thicket gathers—
autumn olive, buckthorn, forsythia, dogwood.
And when you stepped outside, the doe stayed still
and looked in your eyes, you thought, with a companionable
complicit question, and didn’t run. You were
light-headed. The doe lowered her nose
to shove at the small bundle at her feet
folded up like an awkward deck chair
till then invisible in its hollow of grass.
She had just given birth. The fawn couldn’t stand
but raised its too-large head to gaze at you.
You were, as you said, already more or less
posthumous. You took each other in.
One of you before, the other beyond fear.
Two creatures, side effects on one another,
headed in opposite directions.