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Traveling Through The Dark

Written by: William Stafford | Biography
 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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