Scrub brush sprawled and dead vines
along the edge of the trees, and bones
lying in fresh dirt. What would a deer
need to bring it here? Nothing green
to eat, no smell of new grass or
water to draw it into this clearing.
It chews a rib bone as quietly
as it can, skittish but not ready
to leave. I’m sure it would rather
crack pecan shells in its teeth
for soft meat, but it has this grave
all to itself, and more bones around its feet.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. His latest collections are Elliptic (Yellow Flag Press, 2016), Revenant (Blue Horse Press, 2016), and No Brother, This Storm (Mercer University Press, fall 2018). He has been appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to serve as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.