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William Stafford - Traveling Through The Dark

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.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 3109 times | Comments and analysis of Traveling Through The Dark by William Stafford Comments (320)

Traveling Through The Dark - Comments and Information

Poet: William Stafford
Poem: Traveling Through The Dark
Poem of the Day: Feb 14 2007

Comment 320 of 320, added on July 1st, 2015 at 6:25 AM.
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Comment 319 of 320, added on June 11th, 2015 at 2:00 AM.
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Comment 318 of 320, added on May 31st, 2015 at 8:11 AM.
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