(by Marta Weller, December 4, 2009)
My surreal images of driving home and encountering deer
haven't always had the aspect of horror.
Sometimes there is a truly magical quality which can be uplifting.
This is what I try to remember as I wend my way home at night,
driving along a dark country road.
I remember my twilight meeting with an impressive stag.
Not so much a meeting as a peripheral encounter with this magical creature.
The sky had changed to that glowing twilight lavender,
that almost luminous steel-bluish purple that makes one believe
the stories of elves, fairies and unicorns could be true -
or that at the very least something portentous would momentarily occur.
As I crested the hill several hundred yards beyond the driveway of my house
(which stands in a row of Cape Cod style houses across from a field no longer planted, more like a meadow or pasture kept mown as if it were a giant's front yard),
an awesome sight came into view.
In the middle
of the emerald green pasture
stood a stag - head raised,
to a distant call.
I slowed to watch.
Slowly, he began to stride
across the pasture
away from my roadway
toward a line of trees.
Not a fear-filled run,
erratic and crazed.
A majestic, head held high,
rack gleaming in the last beams of sunset,
powerful, purposeful progress to his next destination.
It was eerie. Right across from houses with freshly mown lawns,
this king had deigned to pause in his travels.
Driving home tonight,
all alone on a dark country road,
all these images of deer and many more,
scud through my brain.
Like the clouds passing in front of the moon above,
the images flicker past my mind's eye.
The darkness encapsulates me.
The yellow lines mesmerize me.
And now I realize what my mind has analyzed.
My nighttime driving fears have revealed themselves to be
night fears of night-deer.