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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Flat Tires and a poem by Tess Taylor

Twice in the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent hours waiting on tires to be replaced. First was with my car, not long after we realized that the red plastic top my husband stopped to pick up on the road in front of our house was part of someone’s dislodged tool box, and nails were scattered all over the street.

The fallout didn’t happen for us until the next day, hours away in Nashville, and needing to get the youngest child to a college preview day. (Many thanks to the nice and wise hotel shuttle driver, who said, “Don’t let that flat tire ruin your day!”)

Yesterday aforementioned son called on the way to school and said, “My tire light is on.” Just the sudden changes in weather, I thought, but I switched cars at his school and took the car in for a quick oil change and a check. Five and a half hours later, I was finally leaving – the nail in his tire couldn’t be plugged and the dealer didn’t have the same tire in stock, so we had to wait on one to be delivered….

Well, I met some nice folks in the waiting rooms, because that’s how we do things in the South. I hope Gabriel’s first birthday party went well last night (what an excited young dad), and that the man whose grown daughter with Down’s Syndrome lives in Florida can settle down soon in a house he wants here in Georgia.

What does any of this have to do with elk? Well, nothing – except that in my search for a poem about a flat tire I stumbled on this one, in May’s POETRY which I have but confess must not have read, because this poet and poem were new to me. Somehow it spoke to me today, on the heels of All Souls Day and The Day of the Dead and all, and I found it quite moving:

This is from the last part of

Elk at Tomales Bay
by Tess Taylor
(excerpt)

All bare now except
that fur the red-brown color


of a young boy’s head and also
of wild iris stalks in winter


still clung to the drying scalp.
Below the eye’s rim sagged


       flat as a bicycle tire.


The form was sinking away
The skin loosened, becoming other,


shedding the mask that hides
but must also reveal a creature.


Off amid cliffs and hills
some unfleshed force roamed free. ….



Click here to read the complete poem.

And for more great poetry, visit Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for the Poetry Friday Roundup!
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