[34] New Year’s Omen, Alan Toltzis

Up ahead,
metal scraps, like twisted light,
glance the right-hand lane.
A lone hubcap rocks,
the broken white line its fulcrum.
And a man in shirtsleeves,
hands in jeans pockets,
forcing him into a shrug,
slouches down the road from his stalled car
towards the doe,
her paralyzed body, heavy and calm
but still able to raise her head,
the moist nose twitching,
air steaming from her nostrils,
inhaling familiar scents—
winter field. . . some dormant grass. . .
now tinged with purple smears of shame and sorrow
as he approaches like a compulsion
urging him forward.

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