In the Wind Rivers sandra dorr
In the night come signs of his
blood cancer, its fingers ready
to grasp my beloved, curling up.
Instead we throw open the tent
to red sun blazing on Haystack Peak,
and in the velvet shapes of dawn
is a doe, head down, biting an apple
we left out on the ground, her
dun body thin as a child’s.
She turns, tries to make us out,
then bends her perfect curved head,
new as the sun, back to the fruit.
We stay mute to hear her chew
in the cold half-dark that moves like
a heavy soft blanket we’re sharing,
until I turn my face towards her
body emerging in the light – she startles,
leaps, and flees into the trees.
What loss, what wonder in us,
stepping into her air, remembering
how infinite small motions we make
will alter a wild life and its place.
Published in Deep Wild, Vol. 5, 2023