Two Poems

The Deer Are Not Silent

On a whim, my son aimed the Zombie Blaster,
a birthday present from his father, and fired a foam dart
at a deer that suddenly appeared in our yard—
just missing it. The fawn, unmoved, looked us over,
less afraid than wonderstruck at the dumb luck
humans have in the order of nature, until a dog-walker,
rounding the corner, seemed to trap the fawn
between the now frantic dogs and Artie’s truck

when another deer, the mother I assumed
from its white-tailed flashing, leapt out of the woods,
charging the dogs with a sound that could have lifted Thoreau
up by the ears, half bawl, half high-A
from some Sumerian flute, before turning
on a dime away from our stunned suburb.

Three Towers

When Met Life executives
invited future social workers
from the Seven Sisters colleges
to their observation tower,
the tallest at the time, “to see
the tenements and the task ahead,”
they had other ideas in mind.
This was before Frank Woolworth
paid cash for the recessed transoms,
and cash for the white mullions,
and cash for the arrowed filigree
of the rocket shot of white
that Hart Crane called the way-up
nickel-dime tower
. In America,
we like to see certain bodies
from afar, as in that postcard
you sent of all the white
rotating brides, looking
out and over and down.

CATHERINE STEARNS has had poems recently published in The Southwest Review, North American Review, and Yale Review, among other journals. Her first book of poems was published by New Rivers Press, and she has a chapbook forthcoming from Slate Roof Press. She lives in Natick, Massachusetts, and is writer-in-residence at The Roxbury Latin School in Boston.