Poems by Joan Larkin



Fawn Before Doe Season


Fawn Before Dow Season

The day I went to work,
I stopped nursing you, I pushed
the thick rubber nipple between your lips.
Something in your eyes' dark lakes
disappeared-did I really see this?
Daily you were drenching ten pounds
of diapers, bedclothes.p you weighed
nothing.p Puffball.
I held you in the crook of one arm.
Your small breath warmed me.
Work at the computer billing company
began at nine.p The sitter
could give you bottles.p When I was done
paying her, there was no money
for one week's food-
I knew this was true,
even when Jim said, That job
costs you more than you take home

end of August, you are eighteen.
I'm fine, you repeat on the phone.
there's a cool edge to the air,
the season turning.p It's dusk.
From my open car window, I see
the fawn, head lifted, half
over the fence.p For a moment,
she moors me in her dark gaze-
then floats back, soundless,
somewhere I can't see.
Nothing I know can hold her in the field.

From A LONG SOUND (Granite Press)