David Baker reads

Too Many

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my neighbors
say, when what they mean
        are deer—the foragers, the few at a time, fair

if little more
than rats, according to
        a farmer friend nearby, whose corn means plenty.

They nip the peaches,
and one bite ruins;
        hazard every road with their running-

not-away; a
        menace; plague; something should be done.

        Or here in town,
where I’ve
        found a kind of afterlife—the townies hate

the damage to their varie-
gated hostas,
        shadeside ferns—what they do inside white bunkers of

the county’s one good
course is “criminal,”
        deep scuffs through the sand—that’s one thing—but

lush piles of polished-
olive-droppings, hoof-
        ruts in the chemically- and color-enriched greens…

        Yet here’s
one more, curled
        like a tan seashell not a foot from my blade, just-

world fawn, speckled,
        wet as a trout, which I didn’t see, hacking back

brush beneath my tulip
poplar—it’s not afraid,
        mews like a kitten, can’t walk—there are so many, too

many of us,
the world keeps saying,
        and the world keeps making—this makes no sense—