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Time to Decide

Poem by Stewart S. Warrren

Wildlife – February 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

Time To Decide

You’ve been here before:

the animal runs in front of your vehicle

and no amount of dodging or dancing

changes the certainty of bumper and thud.

I went back for her,

walked the tall grass

till I found a spotted fawn

stunned, breathing

in short gulps, in rapid time

with a planet loosing its pull.

I pulled- pulled on her long ears,

fell for that soft dark nose

and cute turned up tail;

looked around for her mother,

for someone to take her back,

tell me what to do.

Just then she roused, perked up,

her feather- weight legs trying the air,

a dream of playing

in safe green shadows.

I thought to myself…she might make it.

It was just passed sunset of course,

the loud blapping of Friday night pickups

doing the turn around

from Hotchkiss to Paonia,

an occasional SUV

sealed from the inside out

and those irresistibly soft long ears.

I said, “I’m waiting here

till you decide.”

At a time like that

you’ve got all the time there is.

A few more moments passed

as is the nature of moments to do

and again, she threw her head back,

slender neck long and taut,

wide- eyed, twitching tail

and pushed through the birth canal

—maybe something pulling her

from the other side.

I looked up at the moon,

its watchful half face

without judgment or remorse,

then back again

to her golden brown,

dog- like little body

that stayed warm

in the weeds a long time

— longer than I stayed.

Stewart S. Warren