Winter Solstice

fawn

 

My wife looked out upon a single fawn

that gnawed, unaware, at the hedge

beside the rock garden on this first day

of winter.

“There’s something wrong with one of its legs,”

she told me with a frown.  As it grazed its way

to the yew bushes along the front walk, I could

see that she was right.

The deer was young, a few months old at best,

from its size, left hind leg hobbled a bit by

what seemed a tumor that shackled her

to her fate.

The fawn foraged in solitude amid a carpet of

snow, cast out perhaps from the herd to fend

alone all predators, to ward off the dark, to

die at last a solitary death and take with it

the blight it bore.

Was this the lone deer we saw below our

bedroom window two nights past, feasting

on the birdseed I had scattered beneath

the feeder? We’d thought it odd to see

but one.

She’d stood, legs splayed, nearly genuflecting

as she fed, the nap of her young fur smooth

and gleaming in the moonglow. We hadn’t

noticed in that swath of silver light the knob

that hobbled her, her outcast plight.

As the shadows lengthen on this longest night,

I’ll seed again the snow beneath the barren ash,

will scatter far and wide the feed to brook the

coming darkness, the feeble light.

Thomas D. Kersting

7 thoughts on “Winter Solstice”

  1. Tom,
    Many phrases in here, such as, “shakled to her faith.” “fawn foraged in solitude” and “the blight it bore” -all vividly capture the plight of this fawn. Consistent use of the “w” words –over twenty of them, such as gnawed; yew; moonglow and shadows –really enhances the mood of this piece. Really nice.

  2. In just a few words, Tom. you made tears in my eyes where for months I have been swearing at these “Bambi Bastards” for eating away all my 40-year old winter greenery.

    Just a few words starting with, “a tumor that shackled her to her fate..”

    Four days ago I felt again my tears from 74 years ago when I was watching the original “Bambi” and praying for her survival.

    Tyrus Wong, was the animator who created Bambi for Disney, passed away at 106 last Saturday.

    Thank you for changing me back to a Bambi lover.

  3. Striking beauty in this poignant piece. It builds steadily to reach the universal drumming of heartbeats and the banding of forces against that which will up heave us all. The last stanza reads ” As the shadows lengthen on this longest night, I’ll seed again the snow beneath the barren ash, will scatter far and wide the feed to brook the coming darkness, the feeble light.” Love the use of the word “brook” here. The layers of meaning fall to the ground as softly, as inevitably as snowfall. Lovely work.

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