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No Animals

No animals were harmed in the writing of this poem.

In fact they weren't even touched, though mentioned

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in a fond sort of way. Last night my father-in-law

slowed the car in one neighborhood.

A buck has been hanging out there, following a doe,

it being mating season. Yes, he is there still.

He appears to be limping, but as we swerve a little

to put the headlights on him, he leaps up

an eight-foot embankment to a high front lawn.

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We turn the car around for another look.

He reappears by the road below, walking

along the edge. His antler points gleam in the lights

like the chandelier in an English country house

at some weekend celebration. One can almost see

the glint of candles on tiaras and necklaces,

the servitors bringing in big silver trays

of delicacies. But this is about a buck. He carries

his astonishing array discreetly. He pays no more

attention to us, and we too look and leave,

he unhurt, and we much pleased, delighted even,

by such unassuming grace, and especially

by those wild, almost mythical antlers.