Friday, September 12, 2014

The lives of deer

Handsome fellow this morning in soft overcast.

Late August at the Mouth of the Fraser River

The wind pulls the full blackberries gently
from their stems, the way a woman
removes her earrings after a dinner party,
sighing as her tongue forgets the wine
and her cheek her host's kiss. Nearby 
in the boatless harbour, a muskrat swims
from darkness to moonlight, silk sliding
down the white flesh of a thigh, and on
the farther shore a pregnant doe steps out
of the woods to listen to the two red watches
ticking at two different speeds
between her tissue-paper ribs.

Silt from the mountains is filling the channel,
the slow current is making tails out of heads
on a coin dropped by one of Galiano's sailors,
and auburn is packing its only good suit
to go off on a journey through a million leaves. 
The moment calls for us, but we're staying here
to allow the world its own sweet company, to
let the berries drop on the grass, the musk-
rat reach home, and the deer time her pause 
by the water. Stay quiet a while, listen
to the ticking womb. Be in the world
while absent from it, like the sun,
the dead, the panting fawn.

Tim Bowling

Open Wide a Wilderness; Canadian Nature Poems,
Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009, page 430.

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