Dawn comes later and later now, and I, who only a month ago could sit with coffee every morning watching the light walk down the hill to the edge of the pond and place a doe there, shyly drinking,
then see the light step out upon the water, sowing reflections to either side — a garden of trees that grew as if by magic — now see no more than my face, mirrored by darkness, pale and odd,
startled by time. While I slept, night in its thick winder jacket bridled the doe with a twist of wet leaves and led her away, then brought its black horse with harness that creaked like a cricket, and turned
the water garden under. I woke, and at the waiting window found the curtains open to my open face; beyond me, darkness. And I, who only wished to keep looking out, must now keep looking in. ~Ted Kooser “A Letter in October”
God knows we miss the light
these autumn mornings,
especially when a storm blows
wet and wild in the dark
beyond the window pane.
We only see ourselves
peering into the darkness.
God knows we need the light.
Near dusk, near a path, near a brook, we stopped, I in disquiet and dismay for the suffering of someone I loved, the doe in her always incipient alarm.
All that moved was her pivoting ear the reddening sun was shining through transformed to a color I’d only seen in a photo of a new child in a womb.
Nothing else stirred, not a leaf, not the air, but she startled and bolted away from me into the crackling brush.
The part of my pain which sometimes releases me from it fled with her, the rest, in the rake of the late light, stayed. ~C. K. Williams “The Doe”
Oh little one
to have been born
in June over three decades ago
but lost too soon
gone as swiftly
as a doe disappearing in a thicket,
a memory that makes me question
if you were real,
but you were
and you are
I’ll know you when I see you.