deer

This isn’t how Hollywood would’ve scripted the deer season opener: flat light with no hint of shadow. Shots don’t ring out—they merely thud.

Just as I come out, a doe and her grown fawn emerge from the lilac. We stand and stare at each other. I notice one of her ears has a crimp.

Melted frost shining like dew on the lilac. A deer trots down the road and into the yard to graze, raising her head to keep an eye on me.

Warm, with a bleary sun. Three deer file out of the woods: a doe with grown fawns. She pauses to browse the leaves on a feral privet bush.

The alarm snorts of deer down-hollow give way to the higher-pitched snorting of a fawn in the field. Whatever it is, it’s heading southwest.

Below the porch, I notice a single orange jewelweed overlooked by the deer. The hummingbird zips right past it on her way to the garden.

Weak sunlight: a milkiness in the sky like the film that forms over the eyes of the dead. A lone fawn runs bleating through the forest.

The oriole’s glossy song. Up in the woods, a deer snorts in alarm for half an hour, until I think a bear or coyote must’ve found her fawn.

The black currants are in full leaf, squat from their winter’s pruning by the deer. Down-hollow, a hen turkey yelping, a tom gobbling back.

Rainy and warm. Seven deer file into the yard and spread out to graze. One kicks up her heels and dances sideways, as if she’s still a fawn.

Two deer wander through the yard, coats wet with rain. The scrawnier one samples the daffodil sprouts, then startles at the old dog statue.

Just inside the woods, a white spear-tip where a maple’s top snapped off last June, sad as the spikes on the buck standing in the driveway.

A furious buzzing from around the house where hummingbirds duel over the last few beebalm flowers. A half-grown fawn emerges from the woods.

The catbird is already in full throat at sunrise. Six deer graze in the meadow below the blossoming pear tree, muzzles dripping.