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White Deer

White Deer

Approaching the woods, I met a man.

“You have a camera in your hand,”

He said, “If you are lucky, you will catch

An albino deer where the two paths branch.

I shot it with my cell phone cam,”

He called as I went past, his dog’s long

Leash was dragging in the sand.


White deer, white deer,

In these familiar woods,

Woods full of brown fawns,

Squirrels and chipmunks,

By Martin Lake where once I

Spotted nine blue herons in a row.

But never did I see nor hear

White deer, white deer.


My eyes grew marksman-sharp,

Ears twitched at every creaking twig,

I softly jogged the catwalk planks

To where the paths take separate banks,

Meandering through the trees.

A cardinal’s scarlet caught my eye,

A redcap’s knocking stirred my ear

And in the middle of a grove, a black

Cat licked its paw, but no

White deer.


I never saw the wood so vividly, so bright;

Each branch and breaking bough

Etched on my sight.  My steps grew quick,

My lungs gasped at a fevered pitch,

Eyes darted side to side, and

For a moment, outside time,

I felt the quiver of the wilderness:

For a moment, outside thought,

I had become the thing I sought.


The rain came gentle first,

And then the clouds moved overhead.

I shuddered, and had reached the forest

Edge again.  There was no further thing

To see, to find; the deer had vanished,

Never to be mine.


And so I headed back, but wiser, clear:

For in a sense, I’d seen—or been—

White deer, white deer.

                                     --Linda Brown Holt    copyright 2010

Posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 03:51PM by Registered CommenterLinda Brown Holt | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

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