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Ghost Dog December (Abstract Prose Poem)
ErinConnery

There are many mysterious deaths that fade into the December Mountain. Some even on the Ghost Dog road, which is a lonely, dirt road that I take some nights when coming home. There was one night that I witnessed quite a mysterious death.
 1
I found a deer dead on the side of the Ghost Dog road. In the glow of my car’s headlights I stood over the bundle, a doe, its body stiffening, getting cold as her heart slowed. I saw the shot in her chest. She died slowly as some tender discontent beat inside me. Something happened to me that night on the road where unruly Christmas trees grow intermixed with wild blueberry bushes.  Surrounded by forest to the north, bordered by a creek to the west, contiguous with old Route 9, the road where this doe lay dead.
 2
The eyes stayed wide and showed her still fear. There was blood about her chest, which stained the snow, but the rest of her body was unspoiled. I stood for a while in the bright light, listening to the engine working underneath the hood. I wonder if animals dream in their sleep.
 3
 
 
 
 
I waited until she expired and tied a rope around her still thighs, dragging the swelled body off to the road’s shoulder. Around me and the doe and the distant purring car—the wilderness watched silently.
 4
With one foot in the dark woods and one on the solid road I coiled my rope and gave my farewell. I did not want to leave her, not like that, but I had no means of trucking her body on to town, and it had begun snowing a dark snow. My wife Margie would be worried soon enough. And anyways the coyotes would be after her as soon as I left.
 5
It made me wish I had my red mittens. No old woodsman like me is scared of the dark, or coyotes, but the sinister night hung loose over my white head, and I was getting cold. I started back to my vehicle. The wind started too, and the trees leaned in, begging me not to leave her.
 6
Then I heard the CRACK.
 7
I was in the snow on my backside. Blinking wildly, three seconds passed before the pain shot to my right shoulder.
 8
“Think I got it!” Two high voices came out of the darkness. “I told you they always come back to the same damn spot.” I gritted my teeth, wondering scared, when a beam of light hit me in the face.
 9
“Jesus Christ!”
 10
I let out a scream.
 11
 
 
Two hunters dragged my body to the side of the road. I heard their yells fading hysterically, in and out of my awareness. I slipped into the December darkness.
 12
 
 
When next I awoke it was still December. It was still night. And I was on the side of the road. I lifted my head, and there was the doe, her two wide glassy eyes staring into my own, threatening to blink. She was still, dead.
 13
A layer of snow covered my body and I thrashed my neck around, sending pain to my shoulder. The cold tangled my hair and bent my thoughts. The story started with the deer, but now, Dear Margie, my wife! Your man is in the wintry woods and it is stopped cold on his way home.
 14
 
 
Margie has piping red hair. It made me wish we had some warmer mittens. The darkness has begun to spread. It hangs loose over my blonde locks and seeps into my pretty little head. The snowflakes carry me closer to your lips. Kiss me now or never again. I am in the wintry woods and it is snowing a dark snow. It’s a dark snowfall. Wish we had some warm red mitts.
 15
 
 
I roll and prop myself up on my good shoulder. Do not battle alone, dear Brother! Oh but I am alone. My car is nowhere. She has piping red hair. Two deer huddle together, and I can see the rack of one sticking out of the snow. I rise and grab her lovely mittened hand and we shuffle into the snowy squall.
 16
We shuffle to keep warm, bumping into the landscape. I find my rope and began hauling her dead weight around. The crispness and pungency of the wintry oak forest draws me onward, focusing my wretched steps. Margie has piping red hair. Her flesh has grown dark and rich like venison.
 17
MARGIE.
 18
I remember following her to the woods that previous afternoon. Margie always walked the woods. She spent most of his life in the woods. I followed her slow, familiar form with my eyes all the way to the edge of our lawn until she disappeared. Maybe she would find me.  
 19
I opened and closed my eyes and found her again, walking to my body in the snow, silent as I had been when I stumbled across the doe. I followed her over the creek that ran by our farmhouse and up past the yellow birches and stately evergreens. I imagined her gaze, and imagined seeing the sight she was seeing now.
 20
 
 
I’m  not on the side of the road anymore. They dragged me into a ditch. A fucking ditch. Night hunters. I hear the toolshed working its way into the ground. Picks and shovels. It’s an 18 year old and his father. “Jesus Christ” one of them says again. A long silence. They drag the quivering deer in by a leg.
 21
 
 
As the hemlocks began to thin out, giving way to the early morning light, and open deciduous trees, my dear Margie loses interest. She’s walked to the edge of the field and paused, as if lost. No one else, it seemed had come through this ground lately. I gazed up at the sky and seem to consider, assume, weigh and believe something large and terrible. It vanishes with each spade full of dirt.
 22
 
 
Finally it happened. I breathed deer breath; I found the door in the mountain. I can't make clear the goings or the comings. A mystery, a death…faded into December. Tonight I join the men who have lost. Here we are; a herd of stags; we assemble; halfhearted we trot to the edge, and stand awed, looking down at a chasm and a frenzy.
 23
A giant diamond of ice slips by; its wake leaves our trench: cold and deep. Into the frenzy, we leap. We gallop like infidels through the air, pedaling hard towards something unknown. And soon enough, we crash where the two downslides meet, into the cold, cold river that pools over pebbles: the deer I couldn’t avoid stopping for.
 24
Be it the snowmelt, slobber, tears, or sweat, we bathe in it all. Tonight we are stags. Oh dear Margie, forgive me! We find bits of melting diamond, hastily feel them with our warm hands, and watch it turn to water. We lift our cloven hooves about, wonder, stamp them down again. We sharpen horns against ghosted wood, and then we remove our antlers completely.
 25
Ho! Antlers, they rest heavy on the head. Clarity has withdrawn. Need more be said? Fate has scalped us at the neck, and we die until we reach the door of the mountain.
 26
It is a deep, yawning cave, and its doors opened, its walls erupt in laughter. Galloping charcoal darted across the road. Then silence. December has become quiet as the snowmelt washes out the dead skeletons and flows on.
 27
And I am reborn.
 28

15 Mar 07


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Comments:

still more narrative prose than poem?
 — Mongrol

what makes this abstract?
 — unknown

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