29 April, 2020: A Deer in Cleveland Heights
Read a Poem
A Deer in Cleveland Heights
by Jane Richmond
The buck moves unevenly
down the street
between center hall colonials,
sculpted hedges, too green lawns.
Cloven hooves click on asphalt;
sun brightens brown hair,
white tail not yet hoisted in fear,
three-pointed antlers held high.
He scans minivans, houses,
where the Nature Channel teaches us
the secret lives of deer.
He looks about with strange confidence.
No dogs challenge my neighborhood buck,
not even the black lab who barks at everyone.
What is the deer thinking?
What did he leave to end up here?
Vigilant in a foreign land,
he casts about with wide eyes,
I am caught in the headlights,
but then rush to the phone,
call the animal warden,
“There is a deer heading
Up North St. James—a large buck
Walking toward Cedar Road.”
A voice mumbles
“I’ll tell him.”
“A Deer in Cleveland Heights,” by Jane Richmond, from Tributaries, vol. 8. 2006. Used by permission of the author.
Jane Richmond taught English at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College. In addition, she taught writing to Jones Day lawyers for 28 years. Her book, Legal Writing: Form and Function, was published by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in 2002 and by ALI-ABA in 2008. Jane looks to the world of nature and to human nature as inspiration for her poetry. She lives in Cleveland Heights and enjoys singing in two choruses, learning to paint, and writing. Her work has been published in Tributaries and read at the Cleveland Humanities Festival and Choral Arts concerts.
Write a Poem
What is one childhood activity you particularly hated such as Monopoly, Dodge Ball, Jump Rope, Birthday parties, Confirmation class? Write a poem on what you would rather have been doing, on what you are doing with that time today.