Chapter 16
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Book Excerpt: Letters to the Home


My mother wakes me up just as the sky,
dark with night, begins to undress
shyly into morning. Wrapped in her bathrobe
she tells me to get my camera and points me toward
the patio door, where morning mist still rests
over our yard like a second skin.
In the distance, there is
the white glow of a deer
— lonely.
My mother tells me in a quiet voice
about her father, how as a child she cried
when he left for hunting trips,
how she prayed he would not find
any deer to shoot.
And she points to this one
with its glowing
and we are both thinking about our neighbor with his guns
and the deer heads hung on my aunt’s walls
and the light as it is coming over the horizon.
And she tells me that she feels
like a child.


Copyright (c) 2020 by Michael Gray Bulla. All rights reserved. Michael Gray Bulla is a writer and poet from Franklin. He was named the 2017 Nashville Youth Poet Laureate with Southern Word, and his work has been published in Nashville Arts Magazineand Stonewall’s Legacy: A Poetry Anthology. Letters to the Home is his first poetry collection