The deer in that beautiful place lay down their bones:
I must wear mine.
– Robinson Jeffers (“The Deer Lay Down Their Bones”)
Secreted within steep brush and granite
to browse the fresh and tender Buckeye leaves,
the fragile innocence of deer seems tame—
safety but a bounding leap away.
Were we so unengaged to see ourselves
as novelties, we might pause more often
to look out upon the urgencies of men
and women inventing new shenanigans
to keep us shackled to our egos
as redundant and unnecessary weight—
were we so rational. How we envy deer
their shrouded bowers where they can feed
themselves. Nearly as free as deer
in the rocky cliffs above, the doe can see
the calves we have been looking for.