TRaveling through the DArk

My Version of Swerving
After “Traveling Through the Dark” by Stafford

On my street: no street lights, couples always making out in darkened cars, and animals always getting hit. Once we were walking George and we saw a deer lying by the side of the road, an almost dead deer, its hind hooves still shaking, its eyes staring, fixed. My brother picked up a pine branch and poked the deer in the belly. The deer made a small, Uh, sound. Don’t, my mother said, it has germs on it. I went to my brother and took the stick. I poked the deer in the chest twice. The deer remained quiet. Don’t, my mother said, that’s disgusting. George walked over to the deer and started licking the blood at the deer’s mouth. George! my mother said. She hauled on his collar. George! my brother said and pushed him with his toe. I said, George, and poked at the deer’s eye. The morning quivered. George made a noise deep inside, like some sort of soft cloth ripping.


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