A fledgling buck looks at me
from across the street.
frolics there on my neighbor’s lawn;
Each morning I have this feeling
almost a certainty
that he belongs, as though
he owns the place, maybe mine as well.
These creatures, a smaller race
than ours, peer at us with a kind of disdain,
are perhaps of the opinion we have grown too large,
grown clumsy and unable to live on grass.
Something compares that smallness of theirs
to a kind of genetic youth. Dinosaurs,
before they became extinct were huge.
Diana the Huntress was swift.
In her statues
there is always a fawn across her feet.
She must have lived when our race was young.
When I get in my car and drive away
he holds his ground.
It is only when my dog comes out he runs,
disappears almost instantly into the woods.
Jake barks. “Stay,” I say.
He looks up at me, as though to reply,
Do you think I’m crazy? They’re bigger than me.
And that one has horns.
He barks again, but does not move.
He knows the hopelessness of pursuit.
There was one of them, looking at me,
when I came out for the paper at dawn.
Neither of us stirred.
Why did we both find it necessary to stare?
What is it that we have in common, that we are wont to share?
Are we just curious,
or is what we feel a kind of fear?
We are really like denizens of different worlds,
or at a kind of zoo,
and we are unable to tell which one is caged.