Traveling Through the Dark
Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.
By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.
My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.
The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.
I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.
Poem Title – Traveling Through the Dark
oPoet’s Name – William Stafford
oPage # - 1019
oGenre/Style – Death, Dark
oTopic – Death, Decisions, Man vs. Nature
oPersona – Twisted, Grim
oSummary – Story of a man who is driving at night, “through the dark,” and encounters a dead carcass of a deer on the side of the road. He decides the best thing to do is to take the carcass to the canyon and drop it off there but he makes note to be careful going through there, for one swerve and he would be joining the deer. When he goes to retain the doe, he realizes it was a recent killing, and as he dragged her he saw her large stomach. She was pregnant and he baby still lived while she had died. He hesitated, no longer knowing what the right thing is to do. Eventually he pushed the deer over the edge of the mountain into the river. oAnalysis – It began with a man being a good citizen moving a deer out of the way on the road, even driving it up the canyon even...