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Sentient soul, to sentient soul,
he realized her panic
when he came barreling
around the corner; sundown,
and their eyes met
for just that second,
she decided to run.
He’d forgot to honk his horn,
thought she’d made it,
then the thud,
like the snap of twig,
a broken limb,
the doe, three-legged,
ran down the ravine.
He was amazed at her speed,
dismayed by his deed,
that couldn’t be undone,
or lightened,
or made right.
In fact, he knew
there was nothing left
except she would die.
He wondered at that,
and how death arrives
when we least expect,
and then, the frantic,
lonesome search for a quiet place
to lay your broken body down,
and the terrible waiting:
last fear, last tight breath,
a final severance from this world
on what had been a beautiful night.