The first time I saw her, it was early
evening. I'd stood
a long time in the meadow,
work its way in. Redwings crackled
from the marsh. Crescent moon, sharp, a white
splinter in the blue. Spiderwort clusters
--three-pronged stars caught
in purple glass jars. Deer time.
The doe, twenty yards away.
Mossy back, black eyes and nose, ears erect.
We studied one another. She
surprised me, taking two swift leaps
closer. Stock-still, both of us, until
she'd had her fill, leapt away
in high, easy arcs like the moon's.
Saw her often after that,
alone or with her fawn
in the meadow, sometimes under the aspens,
silver leaves soughing
like bone-meal through a sieve.
Last night, I went out late, hoping
to catch the aurora,
Moon made my shadow big
in front of me. I spread a jacket out on the grass,
lay down. One satellite passing
Berenice's Hair, Dipper stars strong and blue,
ghostly in her chair,
Scorpio blurred in footlights of the city.
Then, I knew
she was there. Sat up, startled,
close in front of me.
She snorted loud, deliberate,
retrieveed to trees. I shivered.
That breathy whine audible, she stalked
the periphery, circling me.
What made me think I knew anything
about fear? What me me think
those stars were mine?