the usual ambiance
The Deer in the Field.
It’s 16 degrees, and there is no wind.
A quarter of a mile south of my house,
Two deer stand in the field.
A field of clean, smooth snow.
To the left, not too far away
Is a small but deep woods.
To the right, twice as far behind them
Is another woods, bigger and deeper.
The rest of the herd is probably there.
Still asleep, or searching for food in the cover of trees.
The two have been in the field for a while now.
The woods absorbs almost all of the traffic sound from 31,
A mile or so behind them.
The big deer’s head is down, as he digs into the snow
And finds some blades of frozen winter wheat,
Or some stubble from last year’s soybeans.
He takes a couple of steps, head still down.
He can hear the crunch under hoof.
The breathing of the smaller deer,
And the low hum of distant traffic.
There is a bird at the far end of the big woods
But she is silent for the moment.
The big deer brings his head up, to the south.
Scans across the smaller deer and the woods to the east.
For a moment.
The small deer’s head goes down to the snow.
And the big deer goes back to the search
For a morsel of food.
As the golden light of dawn
Has just broken across the field to his left and right,
They are still in twilight's shadow.
And the bird in the western woods starts to sing again.