How to See Deer
Forget roadside crossings. Go nowhere with guns. Go elsewhere your own way, lonely and wanting. Or stay and be early: next to deep woods inhabit old orchards. All clearings promise. Sunrise is good, and fog before sun. Expect nothing always; find your luck slowly. Wait out the windfall. Take your good time to learn to read ferns; make like a turtle: downhill toward slow water. Instructed by heron, drink the pure silence. Be compassed by wind. If you quiver like aspen trust your quick nature: let your ear teach you which way to listen. You've come to assume protective color; now colors reform to new shapes in your eye. You've learned by now to wait without waiting; as if it were dusk look into light falling: in deep relief things even out. Be careless of nothing. See what you see.
"How to See Deer," from Lifelines by Philip Booth, copyright © 1999 by Philip Booth. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Date Published: 1999-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/how-see-deer