Today's poem is by Julie Funderburk

Figure of the Buck

Think of a buck
within city limits, surrounded by houses,
blocked in by commuter roads.

An emotion can be relegated to woods without water.
A person can keep questioning whether it's real.

Having found what resembled a track,
I did not make myself a fool for the possibility.
Mornings I did not hunt for scrapes
against the oaks' silver lichen, did not imagine divots

or keep myself motionless
where the animal might have stood.

At the tree line, one night I thought I saw glowing eyes

but was not obliged to react, given the uncertainty.
I could have set out salt
or an offering of hard apples

and now I wonder: close, how much closer
toward my house, from cedar and pine
into the clearing, the moon
barely letting on, did the buck come, legs
back-kicked high, the white stars
expansive over need
expressed there in full:

a frenzied tearing into dirt, antlers
shaking out circles, while I slept,
the heart beating nearby.

Copyright © 2016 Julie Funderburk All rights reserved
from The Door That Always Opens
LSU Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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