Contents | November 2001

In This Issue (Contributors)

More on poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.

Also by Robert Wrigley:
Winter Bale (2001)
Highway 12, Just East of Paradise, Idaho (2001)
The Atlantic Monthly | November 2001
The Other World

by Robert Wrigley
audioear pictureHear Robert Wrigley read this poem (in RealAudio)

So here is the old buck
            who all winter long
had traveled with the does
            and yearlings, with the fawns
just past their spots,
            and who had hung back,
walking where the others had walked,
            eating what they had left,
and who had struck now and then
            a pose against the wind,
against a twig-snap or the way
            the light came slinking
among the trees.

Here is the mangled ear
            and the twisted, hindering leg.
Here, already bearing him away
            among the last drifts of snow
and the nightly hard freezes,
            is a line of tiny ants,
making its way from the cave
            of the right eye, over the steep
occipital ridge, across the moonscape, shed-horn
            medallion and through the valley
of the ear's cloven shadow
            to the ground,
where among the staves
            of shed needles and the red earthy wine
they carry him
            bit by gnawn bit
into another world.

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Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; November 2001; The Other World; Volume 288, No. 4; 116.