A Field in Tennessee

by Thomas Rabbitt

The doe caught in the fence is dead of course.
Her fawns – cute as can be – wait in the weeds
For her to untangle herself from this.
Circling through their vortex of appetite
Buzzards soar, flight feathers slicing light,
Their shadows altering the way chance lies.
This is a waiting game. Cicadas buzz
In the woods beyond. A slow black snake slides
Across a stone. Nothing’s still and nothing
Seems to move. Even the tangled wires hum,
Carrying old news, these matters of fact.
Like dried blood on barbs deflecting the light,
Like the swarm of flies promising new life,
Nothing’s pointless under the spinning sun.

The author of several books of poems—including Exile (1975), The Booth Interstate (1981), The Abandoned Country (1988), Enemies of the State  (2000), and Prepositional Heaven (2001) — Thomas Rabbitt has retired from his teaching career and currently lives and writes in Tennessee.  In 1972, he founded the MFA program in creative writing at The University of Alabama.  In Fall 2004 NewSouth Books will release American Wake: New & Selected Poems.

selected by Dan Albergotti