Lisa C Taylor – Dead Calf on a Numbered Road

Taylor LE P&W 5 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Five Nov-Dec 2023.

Dead Calf on a Numbered Road, poems by Lisa C. Taylor


Legs bound
with green rope,

over the embankment.

we held our dog back

from sniffing
the carcass of a fellow mammal.

Mercy, you said, implying
the calf was ill or deformed

though he looked perfect,
pink comma of a mouth, ruffled fur
of the newly born.

I imagined brown eyes
opening for the first time,

seeking his mother
for a suckle.

What is known:
he was slung
from a truck bed
on a sparsely traveled road,

small, maybe a day or two old,
perfect in repose

but those ropes, those green ropes.

Dark Sky

In a dark sky town, ambient light
goes on sabbatical
and stars own the sky,
constellations brighter
than New York City.

When night opens its maw,
the chill gnaws at remnants
of lavender and light.

Today’s freshening evoked beginnings,
times apart from the familiar
into a world transformed into something else,
cliff face or hawk wing.

Wolves are returning
of their own accord,
and the reservoir is poised
to fill after years of drought.

While wind upends porch chairs,
the juniper tree invites waxwings
and juncos to feast.

This is an uninterrupted sigh,
a shooting star.

© Lisa C. Taylor

Lisa C. Taylor is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Interrogation of Morning (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press 2022). She also has two short story collections, Impossibly Small Spaces (2018), and Growing a New Tail (2015) and two poetry chapbooks. One of her short stories received the Hugo House New Fiction Award in 2015. Both her poetry and fiction have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best-of-the-Net. Lisa is the co-director of the Mesa Verde Writers Conference. She also teaches online for

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