I was having coffee outside on the second floor,
remembering how the handyman had said
when you have a wooden deck in Colorado
you’ll be replacing that two by six fir
every couple years — they get
so twisted by the summer sun.
And because he was right,
when the doe walked out on the deck below,
between inch-wide cracks,
I could make out every hair of her forehead,
cocked and furrowed like she felt
something slightly odd
but seeing nothing, shifted, cleaned,
each pegleg step sounding up
as though through the boards of a ship.
She was pregnant
and the wood below was cool
so I watched her for close to half an hour
with a swelling sense — not of love exactly
but unfathomable care
racing out like water dropped from a height
in every direction above her head.
And it occurred to me
that this must be how gods are created:
the creature below, unsettled,
with its secrets,
with its exquisite womb,
and the accidental hunter above,
in agony, close enough to touch,
too far to know.
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