Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Release

by Darla Mottram

They galloped down Far West,
hoofbeats shattering silence.
I watched them pass, two silhouettes
against a moon-silvered strip mall.

The wind wrestled hair into my mouth,
but there was no need to speak,
so I didn’t fight it.

My phone buzzed in my pocket once,
twice, three times.

The deer halted at the intersection,
twirled, and continued their chase,
this time running right toward me.
Ruk ruk, ruk ruk, ruk!
Their cries startled, aroused
something gagged and bound
within me.

They veered at the last instant,
catapulting their lean, muscular bodies
toward the baseball field.
They scaled the fence without slowing.

As their hooves struck the soft earth
on the other side, the ties that bind
snapped, and I put one pale foot out
in front of the other, until I too was

sprinting through the shapeless night,
chasing something that looked like me,

but wasn’t.

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