Today's poem is by Dennis Hinrichsen

Deer Poem

So now the placement of the "I" to the edge of this field: two
    deer running.
Night's chilled touch—skin of the air upon
                                                              the skin of their hides,

all that darting and stepping through high grass, the worn trails
flooding with starlight.
                                Bird song, cricket trill;

the tongue flaring in their singular mind—such coarse whistling—;
the heart muscling up like a leopard—they sense
                                            my presence—
                                                                  prelude to flight.

The deer's souls (if they possess souls) no more now than
    blood feathers
in nothing's song—flash of a sparrow drenched
with rain; or hawk

                            cry, owl cry; a flock of crows
so stretched along the gray horizon, it is one bird and then one
an isolated cry,

echoes ringing to the bleached skull of moon. Clouds stall, linger
in darkness
                above this other darkness;

the cool, elegant ropes of spine uncoil. Bodies collapse. Nests of
flatten and pool, settle and pool—
                                                  purr of

the river past uncut fields pressed so deep into the night it is the
    earth itself.

Copyright © 2009 Dennis Hinrichsen All rights reserved
from Kurosawa's Dog
Oberlin College Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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