Two Poems

Driving to Eden, Wisconsin

for a fresh turkey for our table,
for this is less a sin
than frozen, swallowing
the apple cleverly disguised
inside, a Saveur recipe,
no guarantee it’s free range,
but from the Midwest somewhere,
which comforts; we’ll eat our own
pesticides, thank you, no
cross country bird for us,
no maltreated fowl who’s man-
handled just before death,
no carbon footprint, just
the desperate message scratched
in some local soil in script
we don’t understand.
On the way to the rural meat market
my husband hits a deer, his first doe,
he jokes with the sheriff, as hunting
season is upon us. The sheriff
offers him the deer, but no matter
how you dress it, no man in Armani 
and sent-out shirts would
have a place to store it.
The sheriff’s friend comes right away,
shoulders that wild carcass, hauls
it to his truck before the flatbed driver
arranges our crinkled car like so much
garnish on a shallow roasting pan.

Finally the Highway

How odd that death would pass me on the right,
as if I wasn’t moving fast enough.
Rain had drenched the color from the trees,
and leaves gave up their lives to slick the road.
I was lost. No, I had missed the turn.
The geese were pointing south which was no help.
Because I wouldn’t stoop to ask,
I had to face diversion through the town
that lasts forever with its dollar stores and gas. 
Who wants to go through that,
the stop and go? No sign said any place
I’d want: pancake breakfast, Catholic Church,
Friday fish fry, Lion’s lodge.

Finally the highway.
Maybe it was the asphalt, newly set
with grooves that misdirect a balding tire.
Maybe the load he carried in that luxury hearse
(occupied, because the light was on)
shifted at the curve. But swerve he did,
and passed, to gain the lead
and when my hands could finally hold the wheel
a large crow swooping low, crossing the center line.

—Paula Sergi, Fond du Lac, WI