Three Deer, Sharon Springs, November, 2020, by Paul Muldoon

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Three Deer, Sharon Springs, November, 2020


From a manuscript in progress. His poetry collection Howdie-Skelp will be published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Got up though they may be in heavy-duty gabardine
they cavort like fawn-devotees of Dionysus.
Their patron saint is Joseph of Cupertino,

the go-to guy for dunces
who’ll make a run for it across a four-lane highway.
You have to admit they’re tenacious,

holding out no less than goats or hee-haws
for a tidbit that’s survived blight or powdery mildew.
The jury’s hung as to whether the Woes

of the Pharisees amount to eight (as in Matthew)
or six (as in Luke).
A corner of the meadow

where a sky once lived is shown by that blue plaque;
the sky this morning’s streaked with Coppertone
now the snow’s been washing its dirty linen in public.

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