Thursday, August 6, 2009


Three doe are standing in our yard

They’ve eaten up the roses – that was last spring

One is just now stretching up To eat some privet leaves.

She balances for just a bit on her hind legs,

To reach the berries well above her head.

Another licks and grooms the smaller doe

Perhaps her daughter – spotted fawn of just a year ago.

She licks her face, cleans out her ears -

Suddenly she turns,

Ears shaped like stalks extend

And point at me.

I think the deer hear sounds we’ve never heard -

Miles away or just beneath the ground -

I wonder what our yard sounds like to them.

The doe who ate the leaves is tired now,

She folds herself down upon the grass.

Head high, ears up, she chews and sniffs

and turns her head and sniffs again

Discerning odors I have never smelt

Do deer dislike aromas we abhor?

Do they judge the world they see and hear and smell

As good or bad - or only, is it safe?

I watch the mother deer lift up her right rear leg

And scratch her chin.

The mourful cries of coyotes pierce the night -

I saw one once, walking down our road

At dusk,

He turned and looked at me with yellow eyes.

I wished him well.

Mountain lions, too, live not too far from us

Sleek, gold majestic creatures, like the deer, astute

In all their senses, searching prey to keep their

Cubs alive.

Sometimes our deer are gone a day or two

Sometimes a week – I watch for them -

And when the deer return, I thank my God

For keeping them unharmed for one more day.

And then I wonder what kind of God it is

That fills the world with predators and prey?