Saturday, August 18

A Lesson in Living

Smudged outline of shrinking water;
sticky black mud
holds delicate hoof prints
of doe and fawn,
drawn to the water’s edge for a drink
before dawn

Hours later, we pause at the same bank
to soak through our pores the thrumming
of cicada song, the sighing of a breeze
through tips of branches high above our heads
we go about this in our own way…
the little brown dog and me

I stand head cocked with my ear
tuned to the forest, eyes wide open,
rocking gently from side to side.
She gingerly walks the shoreline,
stopping to savor shoots of young, tender grasses,
follows the scent of loam and decaying leaves
to a deep, cool drink of water and hoof prints.

She buries her nose in the impression,
draws a deep breath and looks up, eyes shining
She bows down, rubbing her face
in the sticky black mud, along the line of
young, tender grasses fluttering in the breeze
like green eyelashes

Ecstatic, she runs to me
buries her wet, muddy muzzle between my breasts
and exhales into my heart

if only we, in our cinched and censured world
could surrender to the wildness that dwells within.

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