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