Cult of the Deer Goddess
Darling deer, beasts of our love, we are gigantic. Wild,
we wield no pitchfork, no distaff, no broom. Women
are supernatural, but we are more than that—witnesses
to great convulsions of nature. The hunters want to make
us less. Drag us through the fire by our heels to murder
what is witch in us, make fossils of our priestesses. Men
are small and call this power, but it’s just weal or woe.
In the vales and shadows our bodies make, they wed
our girls turned doe, turned woman, then doe, then woman
and we are not these certain shapes but the swift motion
of their shifting. And we are craggy hag’s head cliffs, mist
hanging grey at our chins, the saltwater below and all it must
bear, and what we cannot: men, marriage, massacre.
Copyright © 2018 Caylin Capra-Thomas. This poem originally appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review. Used with permission of the author.
Caylin Capra-Thomas is the author of the chapbooks Inside My Electric City (YesYes Books, 2016) and The Marilyn Letters (Dancing Girl Press, 2013). She lives in Idyllwild, California.
Date Published: 2019-01-28
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/cult-deer-goddess