Monday 11 November 2019

1 Poem by Robert Masterson

Suburban Deer

Suburban deer are small to begin with

and they fold themselves origami-wise,

all willow stick legs, all so very long necks these delicate white-tail,

to appear most undeer-like,

puzzles of joints and tucks smaller yet,

under the low branches in the way backyard evergreen shrubbery,

the low Gold Mop False Cypress and the Japanese Holly,

to daytime drowse

in the backyards of the houses without fences,

houses without children, without dogs,

eyes closed or closing or barely open

resting until the night,

despite whatever the people hour may say, it is the season

who tells the sun when to leave

and bring the blue flicker shadow glow

to the people’s windows,

They unfold themselves, then,

the suburban deer, unpuzzle themselves back to white-tail

and will graze until the hour before dawn,

on tulips and azalea and every vegetable and peony and

all the prize-winning roses and fruit trees

thinking all the while, slow chewing,

ears rotating to catch even the smallest of small suburban sounds

the suburban deer eat the ornamental and the exotic and they think,

“We were here first. We were always here first.”


Robert Masterson, professor of English at CUNY-BMCC in New York City, has authored Artificial Rats & Electric Cats, Trial by Water, and Garnish Trouble. His work appears in numerous publications and he holds degrees from the University of New Mexico, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado; and Shaanxi Normal University, the People’s Republic of China, and India.

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