Poetry Contest Winner, First Prize, Fall/Winter 2022

Kathleen Holliday

Running in the Dark

A sharp thump in the night
against the house. I think,
windfall, and go back to reading,

But in the daylight, a deer,
a yearling, running alone
in the dark. Dead.

I grip two legs and
drag the cold, stiff body
to an open space between trees,

marvel at every shade of brown,
the soft tufted ears, catch my breath
at the bent neck.

A skyful of wing shadow
circling and circling
comes down and covers it.

And then, all that was left:
a flap of hide, a broken cage
of bones, black hooves like empty shoes.

A running away from
or a running to?