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Deer at Twilight

Beyond the great cut cornfield, in a triangle of grass,
at twilight, deer are feeding. Curious to see
how close I’ll get before ‘they flee from me’,
I leave the road and crunch across the stalks.
Distant, unperturbed, their heads dip to the ground,
look up, consider, this way, that, and dip again.
Two hundred yards away I stop, and let the minutes pass.
Their heads are up for longer now; uneasily
they seem to wonder whether something out there threatens.
Stand-off. Then — is it my smell, my shape
or some recondite sense they have of foreign presence? —
they decide, and run, and bound, the white spot on their rumps
lifting and falling in the failing light,
and one runs silhouetted on the skyline, leaping, leaping,
stark against the washed air and the level streaks of cloud.