Wanda Praisner

Mid-November, Walking Ski Hill Drive

Three days of wind and rain, a forecast
of more bad weather to come, even snow,
I’m out in the sun, sidestepping oak, birch,
and tulip leaves all brown now, brittle,
crepe-like—spines curved, disintegrating.

Then a find. A perfect red maple leaf,
only two pin-sized holes to mar it—
maroon, a matte finish like our leather sofa
where my love sat watching TV, his seat
cracked, sunken, a witness to his absence.

Nearing my house, I stop. A stag stands
motionless on my drive—a twelve-pointer
eyeing me as I’m eyeing him. About to capture
him on my phone, he bounds off, disappears
into the woods, beyond where I can see.

About the author
Wanda S. Praisner, a resident poet for the state, has received 19 Pushcart Prize nominations, First Prize in Poetry at the College of NJ Writers’ Conference, and the 2017 NJ Poets Prize. She’s appeared in Atlanta Review, Lullwater Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her 6th book is To Illuminate the Way (2018).

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