by Richard Subber

 

 

two-white-tail-doe-winter-2 public domain

 

 

We call them wild animals.

This betrays a heedless frame of mind,

a careless dismissal of their lives and their living.

 

When they walk carefully in a quiet group,

when they’re moving together with common purpose,

is this wildness?

 

When they pass again through my yard,

not by chance,

so close to so much that is not of their deer world,

is this a kind of wildness?

 

When they gaze steadfastly at me,

so I can see both eyes,

as I stand still and stare at them,

when I offer my silent bond,

when I say a welcome in my so calm voice,

are they any kind of wild ones?

 

When the fawn is willing to linger at dusk

to climb my little bank

and nibble my vinca minor,

is he a wild child?

 

In my living I make no barrier to their passage,

I have no fear of their return,

I make no hindrance to their living,

I present no unnatural fear to them or their children,

and I let them civilize me.