On my frequent rides out along nearby country roads, I think I learn from all the fellow creatures I see. Yesterday brought wild turkeys, and, of course, more deer. Once while in Japan with my late husband, a renku-master gave me the pen-name “Dream Deer”. I think deer are one of my teachers.
What Shall I Say?
What shall I say to the two tiny fawns
grazing on soft grass along the roadside
until startled by my slowing car?
How can I follow them as they dart away
into a dense green cathedral? Although
they are old enough to be out here alone,
their mother is probably nearby, hidden
among thickets. Reading Bambi’s Mother
as a child, I cried, learning early the sudden
pain of virtual grief, though not yet the anguish
of real loss. If I could follow these fawns, I’d
tell them they are blessed to have been born,
blessed to be bound by a protected woods
bordering a seldom-traveled road, blessed
to join the family of deer.
Yesterday, some among the five distant deer
I saw together in a deer heaven—that endless
grassy lane bordered by another protected woods
out of some long ago fairytale—knew when I had
stopped to view them, lifted their heads to stare
back at me until, sensing no danger, they resumed
peaceful grazing. Would we could be like those
deer—face what might harm us, then find within
ourselves a grassy lane where we can safely graze.