It is a way of marking the season, like the squalls of locust leaves and the bend of wild beach grass. Every fall a deer—its belly a black, stretched crater—hangs from the thick arm of my neighbor’s giant oak.
This doe was in the wrong place during a two-week frenzy of false fawn bleating and silent camouflage and death.
Out with the dog under the quiet frost of night, I sometimes hear the creak of rope, a straining under the pendulum of bound hooves. She’s twisting, kicking to free herself, to search for her sacred entrails and her life.