November by Liz Minette

Everything on standby:
clean, cold, dry, waiting.

When you drive, say,
a two-lane county highway
with empty, turned over fields
either side that reach
silently to treelines, you feel
something should emerge.

Something should materialize:
a screaming red Lamborghini
that comes out of nowhere and races
past you, back to its hot city.

Or maybe something more realistic.

November is a deer that happens
upon the side of the road.

The doe is there:
ghosted from the ditch or swirling dust;
the skeleton stand of maple trees.

The deer’s brown eyes
are ringed with white,
the moon before a storm,
before everything shatters.

You slow and stop, and the doe,
looking, looking at you, hesitating,
finally trots safely to the other side.
Then bounds away, cover of
windbreak, and maybe further,
down another path
imprinted in deer memory.

You let what occurred
surround you.
Perhaps you passed
some kind of test.

Whatever it is, you know
the sun is here for only
a moment less each day
until its turn in December.

Like right now, as you slowly
accelerate, the light
plays tricks with your eyes.
Makes shoulder gravel look
like broadcast amaranth,
in this time that
seems to stand
even as we move.


Bringing Joy: A Local Literary Welcome Copyright © 2021 by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. All Rights Reserved.

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