by Carole Richard Thompson
We see them at the same moment;
the doe first, emerging from the woods.
Our bedroom window frames
her aristocratic pose, tawny
rippling muscles, eyes wary.
She quietly moves forward, turns
her proud head back; a signal.
We crouch behind the curtain,
out of her sight, just as the first fawn
wobbles into view, followed quickly
by another baby, somewhat smaller.
Mother doe keeps them there a few
seconds more, as we hold our breath.
Slowly she passes beyond our garden,
then she moves forward, turning
at the road; leading the tentative twins
into safety of dense woods.
Your arms circle my waist, and you say,
This morning, almost the same time,
the doe slides past our window again.
Our eyes quickly spot the larger fawn,
following a few feet behind, leaving a void.
Later, we hear a workman found,
near the edge of the woods, a fawn,
curled perfectly; still and cold. You say,
“It must have been weak; this was
Nature’s way.” I touched my stomach,
remember the tiny life I never got to hold.
Author’s Comment: “36 Hours” is a poem close to my heart. I kept wondering how the mother doe handled her loss. I felt such a kinship with her as I wrote the poem. I realized, at last, part of my grief was in remembering a miscarriage I had early in my marriage. Can a man understand the depth of that grief? Maybe.
Bio: Carole Richard Thompson moved to Blairsville, GA, in the North Georgia mountains 20 years ago. She joined the North Carolina Writer’s Network, and studied writing under Nancy Simpson. Her first short story, “A Bag of Sugar for Paula” was published in “The Liguorian”, and later in the anthology, “Christmas Presence”. Another short story, “The Uniform” was published in the anthology, “Clotheslines”. Her poems have appeared in the anthologies, “A Sense of Place” and most recently, “Echoes Across the Blue Ridge”. Carole presently serves as NCWN-West’s Georgia Representative.