How long can deer predictably live
in a place where hunting is not allowed?
I scout the periphery of the field
where they appear from time to time
find traces of an old scrape under
a white pine tree––pellets, and grasses
bent by the weight of their big bodies
bedded down for nights under the stars.
Do deer sigh as people do with peace?
Do I anthropomorphize what only wants
appreciation through notice? I want
to relate to their hidden lives and so go
out on the limb of that pine to watch for
their approach through the darkening wood.
While clothes are drying on the line
I write a line and then another about
hiding underwear behind the sheets
on the front line. Victorian secrets are
kept in original ways, washed and dried
folded and stored in the linen closet
upstairs. When they’re hung on the line
for all to see, they’re called “dirty laundry,”
and so often, you know, they have to do
with stories of having been done to, so
you understand why the underwear
is masked by clean sheets. It’s Monday.
“It will go badly for pregnant and nursing women in those days.” Mark 13: 17
From a nest under the woodpile, a mouse runs out
when I move a stick. There goes another, scurrying
away, this one a mother with terrified eyes
her tiny baby still clinging to one of her teats
looking for all the world like a water-skier
towed behind a very fast boat. Shaken free from
the tarp with its hiding places, mother and baby
disappear into the green sea of summer grass.