Face-Off

Fallow Deer, Antler, Schwarzerdamhirsch

The stag turns and snorts,

Stamps his seal on autumn earth,

Sensing unseen foes.

____

Indistinct, wraith-like shimmers—

greens, and blue above. Nothing moves.

—-

The hiker freezes,

breathlessly searching the deer.

Patient as winter.

—-

Brown like the wild grass.

Alert, head cocked. Stately in fright.

—-

The deer lifts its nose—

the spring of all his senses—

exploring the air.

—-

A change! The shifting breeze

blows strong. The scent of a man.

—-

And now like summer

heat hounding away the cool;

the deer hurtles off.

—-

Breath mist clouds the air. The hiker

Stamps his seal on autumn earth. Heading for home.

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