Maple leaf study water color pencil on bristol board
By Leah Graham
Leaves fall at the speed of light
And the creek runs orange.
Unearthed coal is slag-heaped;
It’s sulfur diluted from it by rain
Running orange into the creek.
From a tree left standing amidst pits of clay
A death stick is drawn and missiles its way
Through skin, ribcage, heart, ribcage, and skin again.
The pulse of the earth flowed upward
Into the big doe for an instant
And, then, brought her, crumpled, down to it.
That lone tree amidst unearthed mud and rock
Drew the deer in for a final reunion of plant and animal
Her orange-mudded feet are cord-tied together,
And she sways to and fro,
Suspended from a horizontal tree-pole.
Feathers from an arrow protrude from her side.
Her head hangs cold and lifeless.
Her eyes bulge; her tongue drips blood.
Two massive human frames carry her
from the orange, man-made mud desert.
Her dripped blood mingles with the unearthed coal and sulfur.
Tracks that she made coming in are walked-over and obliterated.
A cigarette smolders in a hoof print.
By J.D. Graham
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