Last spring, on a bank just up the creek,
I found the smoothed and fur-dusted bed
of a deer.
Nested beneath low boughs,
brush browsed back, the smell was still fresh.
But so close, I thought,
within sight of the cabin.
It had been a harsh season.
Many deer were wintering
down close to the valley bottoms and farms.
Dawns, you would see them
browsing a far corner of pasture,
kneading up the snow.
Here, far enough in from the dogs,
there was cover, fresh water...
And the nights I sat at my desk unknowing,
and the lamplight
found its way through the frost-lit trees,
what, if anything, did it mean to her
--nipping at her winter coat
to make a bed for the fawns,
sharing our water for a time.