Jane Blanchard :: Undertaking ::


Southern Legitimacy Statement:

Native to Virginia and long-resident in Georgia, I’m as Southern as Southern can be. (Let’s not talk about the seven-year stretch in New Jersey.) A prominent Mid-Western poet once told me during a workshop, “I could listen to you read the phone book.”


The kayaker sets out to find what he
saw on the bank before his wife left town:
a deer, dead quite a while apparently,
most likely lying where it first went down.

The buzzards have abandoned it by now,
but he intends to claim the antlered head,
which must be severed from the rest somehow
with tools designed for gardening instead.

The deed, much harder than he planned, gets done;
the kayak, loaded, takes him to the car;
a trash bag is employed, a second one;
the distance home has never seemed so far.

His wife returns to find a tub of bleach
burns flesh from bone he really wants to reach.