Once there were twelve wild islands strung together on a dark lake
and someone stood shirtless in a cabin on one of them and watched the
sky smoke and go red.
There was no boom, no bang, only a blur of blind, flaring terror as
deer came crashing through a thicket of sumac and stood spraying blood
over the snow. The left foreleg had been torn away. A timber
followed and crouched in full view some yards away on the frozen lake.
He seemed patient; some might have considered him gracious. There
were just two animals and an audience of one in a tableau of absolute silence
as the sun flattened and disappeared. With a lurch the deer faded
into the bush. The wolf stretched . So sure of a big supper.
At dawn the witness left the cabin and fed on small, frozen flowers
blood the color of cockscomb.
Copyright 2001, Holly Anderson
Holly Anderson is a writer and photo archivist living in New York City.
Her prose books Lily Lou and Sheherezade appear in major
library collections including: Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum
of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, Houghton Rare Books Library at Harvard,
Brooklyn Museum and International Center for Photography.