Updated: Jul 16, 2020
Here’s a poem from today’s ride. These almost daily drives are my escapes from the drone of the television with its constant barrage of mostly bad news, or the machinations of social media. Getting out relieves anxiety provoked by these surreal and frightening times.
In the Shadows
Despite the cooling car, today’s ride is
so hot and humid that I slow down in the
shadows cast across the pebbly macadam
by tall oaks and creep along, hoping to find
again the grassy lane that runs into the woods.
Down that lane yesterday a deer stood on
spindly legs, freely nibbling fresh green shoots
along the wooded edge until she noticed that
I’d stopped to better see her. Sadly, she froze
in place to stare back, her delicate body alert.
Although I doubted that the deer would reappear
today, I longed for another moment’s grace that
would lead my spirit down that lane, lure me
from my time and place into deer time. And I
hoped not to frighten her.
And she was there, this time with two fawns
who seemed unafraid of my car, leaning against
her flanks. I was happy to learn that my deer
was a mother, guiding and protecting her young,
knew that was why she froze again in fear.
I seek glimpses of lives that aren’t my own,
am grateful for this grazing deer family—for
their freeing me from my own frozen stance
these endless alien days, and for calling me
to home on this planet that we share.
© 2020 Penny Harter