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The young buck comes daily now
chewing the grass and leftover summer,
moving heedlessly along my wooden deck
where I can watch through the sliding glass doors
and catch the sight of simple joy, delight
and wish my arm was long enough
to stroke his sleek maple-syrup skin.

Today he carried a cruel gash upon his back,
from the rut or man's barbed wire?
It set my heart afire to see,
yet he licked the wound just once
without complaining, only to continue grazing.

So close he was that my heart stilled
and I nearly thought he would, this day,
take the three short steps up
to grace my deck with his majesty.

We gazed into each others eyes,
deep brown on green, wordlessly;
my mind begging invitation,
while his searched cautiously
yet not without curiosity.

Finally, his back gave a quiver;
instinct reigned and he moved on.
He was after all a creature,
and my soundless human antiphon;
the telepathic psalm which may have
stayed his hesitation in the Garden of Eden,
but now without choice, had to pass me by
to instinct necessary for his preservation.

I watched both grievously and gratefully,
hoping for our eyes to meet again tomorrow.

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