Traveling through the dark I found a deer
Dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
That road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.
By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
And stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
She had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.
My fingers touching her side brought me the reason
Her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
Alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.
The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
Under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
Around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.
I thought hard for us all my only swerving,
Then pushed her over the edge into the river.