Poems by Joan Larkin

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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
.

Tonight,
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)