The Doe

          by C.K. Williams

Near dusk, near a path, near a brook,

we stopped, I in disquiet and dismay

for the suffering of someone I loved,

the doe in her always incipient terror.

All that moved was her pivoting ear

the reddening sun shining through

transformed to a color I'd only seen

in a photo of a new child in a womb.

Nothing else stirred, not a leaf,

not the air, but she startled and bolted

away from me into the crackling brush.

The part of my pain which sometimes

releases me from it fled with her, the rest,

in the rake of the late light, stayed.

David LaMotte


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