This reminds me of a wonderful poem by Philip Memmer, titled “Sweetheart, Baby, Darling.”


I’m behind the country road-kill truck

again, nowhere to look for miles

but straight in its full bed.

Where does it go?  What field or pit or fire

do we tend for the deer

and raccoons, the smashed-beyond-telling?

The closest, a doe, rests her chin

on the very edge of the bed—

no she’s dead, she’s not resting,

though back at the house my oldest dog

could be sleeping this way, her neck

at a slightly more natural angle, and my wife

could be there beside her cooing

sweetheart, baby, darling, this bed

is broken, there’s just too much gravity

for just one dog.  With each bump,

the deer seems to startle, then ease.

Gravity—we want the earth, and the earth

wants us, even the good ground

of the mattress, the loud ground

of the truck bed.  The men in the cab

are talking, lifting coffee

in styrofoam cups.  Every day

they do this.  As the passenger gestures,

I pretend he’s telling the story

of his hatred for the country’s tools—

the pitchfork and shovel, the gloves

and the weighty boots—how he spites them,

lifts each of the shattered in his arms,

then goes on living.  I pretend

he knows how to do that, he’s known

for years.  All I need to do

is follow close, hold my breath, and overhear.

—Philip Memmer


Even pretty things die. 

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