Today's poem is by Lynne Knight

For a Friend Whose Love Has Left

For a week now, the deer has been roaming
the neighbor's sloped and wooded yard,
dipping his antlers to leaf and blade.
The neighbor talks to him, and though parts
of the shrubs are vanishing, and the roses
will be gone if this keeps on,
the neighbor's voice is kind,
low, almost wooing.
Yesterday afternoon, the deer lay
in the grassy patch below the scrub oaks,
and the neighbor, talking low, moved
almost near enough to touch him.
This morning more deer came,
a doe and two fawns.
The neighbor, out for the morning paper,
greeted them all with such warmth
I half expected the deer to wave
their thin legs, or smile.
But they only moved their heads
with a slight sway of the proprietary,
waiting until he'd gone
to dip their heads and eat again.
They've come because the hills are dry.
They bring him calm, the neighbor says.
Here and there they've eaten branches bare,
but still, he hopes they'll stay until the rains.
Then another year will end.
Across the bay, you'll watch the hills give way
to green the deer will feed on
before drought drives them down again.
Bitterness, but of necessity.

Copyright © 2002 Lynne Knight All rights reserved
from The Book of Common Betrayals
Bear Star Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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