Sun and shadow dapple
your sleek brown back
as you move gracefully across my lawn
down near the brook bordering the woods.
Munching vines, your young one looks up at you
but your eyes stray to your antlered mate
over in the next yard. He signals
so you turn to make sure
your dear offspring is still close by.
Do you know this is the first day of hunting season?
Neighborhood humans got fliers from the commissioner
encouraging us to hunt you, shoot you, due to
what he calls dangerous overpopulation. He fears
you will eat up our grass, shrubs, vines.
But after you munch
I’ve seen the grass grow back,
the shrubs emerge taller,
the vines reassert their meandering ways.
I watch as you three cross the brook,
then glide into the woods and I ask,
what is the higher purpose of this greenery,
to impress the neighbors or to nourish you?
Judith Laura is author of She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother and Goddess Spirituality for the 21st Century, as well as two novels. Her poetry and short fiction have been published in a variety of journals including Pudding, Mid America Poetry Review, Pedestal, Poetica, Poemeleon, and Facets, and in anthologies including Prayers to Protest (Pudding House), Not What I Expected (Paycock) and A Pagan’s Muse (Kensington/Citadel). For more about her writing, visit judithlaura.com/books.html.