Elizabeth Kerlikowske

City Deer

The deer and its shadow trot down the street.
The shadow will never catch up
though their hooves are glued together.
The shadow just slightly reluctant to cross the driveway.
When a dog barks, both stop and angle their radar
north or is it east? The real deer knows which yard.
The shadow is always new, made from pollen, leaf mold
and dreams one night, exhaust fumes and blueberries the next.
The deer’s ears twitch and bend to the car door opening.
Not the shadow’s.  The deer leaps over the fence, gone,
but the shadow, lost, hugs the curb, shrinking into the gutter.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske is the author of several books, the latest is Art Speaks, an ekphrastic book with painter Mary Hatch. She's the president of the Poetry Society of Michigan, Friends of Poetry in Kalamazoo, and was awarded the Community Medal for the Arts in 2017.