Cynthia Anderson has published eleven poetry collections, most recently Full Circle (Cholla Needles, 2022). Her poems appear frequently in journals and anthologies, and she is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She makes her home in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. http://www.cynthiaandersonpoet.com
A young deer leapt into the road
so unexpected it seemed he flew there,
all dusky brown and soft white,
and dark eyes that showed no guile.
He stood before me on the crumbling
asphalt, his hooves stuttering a moment
before he chose to stare in return.
Two new antlers rose thin and straight
between his ears, and I thought,
this one is bold, he wants juicy leaves,
the best fruit, he bounds up to the houses
to tear them from their branches.
When he leapt again, he was gone
completely, the morning closed around him
like a book, the book of the deer world,
written in scent and quiver and sunlight,
where the living word slips past us
before we grasp what it means.