No animals were harmed in the writing of this poem.
In fact they weren't even touched, though mentioned
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.
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.