Saturday, December 24, 2011


I've seen nine deer since I arrived.  They've ranged in size from a stolid buck with the profile of a smart car to a shivering wisp of a doe, the deer huddling in groups of two, three four.  The human bustle of my hometown has ebbed as the holiday approaches, and the deer have surged to replace them, buff and sinewy and as not nearly as scared as they ought to be.  On my walks, one darts in front of me, hooves clattering. Another eyes me disdainfully, flares its nostrils, strolls away.  I raise one hand to my heart.

It was the deer my father was after when he bought the house.  Never mind the bedrooms or the built-ins; forget the outdated kitchen, the nouveau 1970s master bath.  Look, instead, out the window: the long spill of green two blocks long, the secret flickering forms.  In the intervening years the green has grown up and the deer have multiplied.  We're watching them now, his words skittering, my hand on my heart in my throat.

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