Alyssa Froehling, Bourn

a deer will not enter a body
of water unless it must to keep alive

a connecticut man spends his time
photographing deer crossing the mile

of water between new haven harbor
& the norwalk islands which now hold

so many deer that the land may sink
down into the ocean

a deer will not enter a body
of water unless it must to keep itself alive

block island is ten miles from the shores
of rhode island & long island

a man writing for the providence
journal claims that thousands of years

ago when the glaciers hadn’t yet melted
block island was not an island & whitetail

deer used to live there
he writes that ten miles

is not too outrageous a journey
for a healthy deer

a deer will do most anything
to keep itself alive

i haven’t spent much
time on the east coast

except in north carolina on the outer
banks where deer are not a native species

one december morning in ohio i saw
a deer rush into the olentangy river

as i crossed the bridge above
on this day it was twenty degrees

she kept looking over
her shoulder

i knew the feeling
i continued down john herrick

drive & at the crosswalk i breached
the safety line & slammed

my hands down on the hood of a car
that puled up loud next to me

i raised both arms back up
with fists & middle fingers

i heard shocked laughter
i closed my eyes & saw a deer

standing on the beach in emerald
isle north carolina salt

burns my eyes from the swim
i am trying my best to stay

alive this land is too heavy
with the living sinking

slow as traffic lights changing
down into the ocean.

Alyssa Froehling