On Seeing a Young Buck in a Field

by Debbie Ouellet

Mid-morning, mid-field—a deer,
young buck still growing
into his rack of horn,
misshaped and thorny,
confused to be spotted in the open
mid-whatever mischief he was into.

His hide the colour of dried leaves,
darker than the nubs of stalk
lopped short before the frost,
he pranced in the morning chill,
rubbing at the itch of his growing,
too young to know the peril
of giving in to the need
to dance wild in open spaces.

I’ve known that feeling,
poised at the edge of safe,
when all you need to do is
place one step in front of the other,
and damn the consequence,
surrender all that you are,
to the river, sky, woods,
and leap into the beauty of the day.

— from Juniper Volume 1, Issue 2