Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.


The Rut 
by Laura McCarty

The doe leads the buck on a death hunt 
tearing across cemetery grounds. 
Dry leaves whirl back up into the sky 
as she hurdles white tombstones and tramples 
fresh graves. With one antler broken, he chases 
her over the hurricane fence, into the parkway.

I lead you, too. I wear my red dress, 
curl my hair, paint my lips and cheeks 
different shades. You walk me to my car 
and ask if you can follow me home. 
I navigate you through the dark, sometimes 
speeding up to see if you will drive faster.

The doe’s hoof clips my fender as she bounds 
across the road and disappears to the woods 
on the other side. From my rearview mirror 
I watch the buck dive into your car. His broken  
antler catches on your open window, spinning you both 
in the other direction.

Laura McCarty raised her two daughters in Arlington, and loves walking her dog at Donaldson Run. Her creative writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Lunch Ticket, the St. Petersburg Review, among other publications, including the family anthology of poems My Mother, My Daughter, My Sister, My Self. In 2016, she was a finalist for the Diana Woods Memorial Award. She received her MFA from American University and Bachelor of Journalism from University of Texas, Austin.

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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