A dozen dead deer
lie alongside the highway
from Rigby to Panguitch,
my husband tells me,
but when I turn my head
all I see is bare ground.
A lone whitetail doe watches
our oldest son pump gas
from the post office lawn
in a tiny town in Oregon.
You’re sure it wasn’t a horse
you saw? the attendant asks.
A Native American friend
is riding a wild paint bareback
from Phoenix to Salt Lake City
for our granddaughter’s wedding present
because horses represent wealth,
our only daughter and firstborn says.
A stallion stands in the shade
in a video shown by our youngest.
As his toddler watches
at the window, his teenage
son whispers in the horse’s ear,
and it follows him out of the yard.
I see it all as a sign that our middle
son, missing from the celebration
in his honor, is somewhere nearby
reading his tarot cards and letting
us know he is still making magic
happen in our lives.
– Sharon Waller Knutson