Landscape, with Deer Eating its Afterbirth

Start with something tiny, said the poet:
like a grain or a snowflake, and gather
around it the poem— in other words,
that process of improvisation you know
only too well: cobbling a cabinet from
castoff parts, landscape in the unlikely
viewfinder of a rusted keyhole. From
accident to accident, the map moves
for the most part toward clarity.
Walking in the wood, one day we come
upon a newborn fawn; and in the grass,
its mother licking the last traces of
the afterbirth. There’s always danger,
some current of the unknown that noses
us out, the smell of fear sharp like iron
in the gut. But nothing I’ve ever done
or faced unfixes that light moving through
the leaves, the animal’s instinct to save
itself from compromise. Pay attention,
she says. This is not only about you.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← In the chapel of perpetual adoration,Night Rain →

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