Deer

Meeting her gaze –I want her to see
sisterhood — I want to say
“Look, I’m scared, too, I’m prey —
the shrapnel spinning slow-motion
in my chest — unravelling me”

but she sees the stone tipped spear
the bronze headed arrow, the
cross-bow bolt.

— Some slight

movement of mine, some twitch
sway breath — an explosion
— of movement

— she is gone

For Brendan at earthweal, where we are meeing nature’s gaze.

11 thoughts on “Deer

  1. That’s a clever poem. It seems to equate an individual incident of a woman meeting a deer with the ongoing impact of humans on the biosphere. Despite the woman’s wish to live peacefully, she too is prey, and the outcome of the meeting is the disappearance/extinction of the deer.
    Really well and imaginatively worked.

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  2. “But she sees the stone-tipped spear” – that is the heartbreak and the guilt of being human – seeing the fear wild creatures with good reason have of us, the most dangerous predator. Sigh. I love your poem. It went right to my heart.

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  3. So much we would say to our cousins and ancestors, if they could only understand. “Shrapnel spinning in the chest” is a great image, where did that come from? I guess that makes you collateral damage of the weaponry we’ve forged. Too bad the deer fled, but you’re right, too many of our weapons are plunged into their species. Great to see you again Sarah, hope you’ve been well. – Brendan

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  4. A wonderful capture of a deer’s gaze and the perfect metaphor for being a woman in a male-driven, aggressive, and often violent society. Your poem made me gasp, Sarah.

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  5. This is really an insight into the different reactions. I love your sense of sisterhood at this very wounded time for women but the wild creatures like deer have even deeper ones and longer memories perhaps to be fearful of humankind.

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  6. I feel the encounter as a meeting of souls. The deer to me is always a gentle reminder of healing and regeneration. There is a moment that suspends reality offering a message of hope.

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