The Roe Deer


for Vigdis Storsletten

The shadows of the trees
and the frost-heaved stones
over long seasons
have shaped this grazing
question, with ears
that cup the hush.

He is the thief the blossom
has desired all the untold summers,
the forager the grass
has hungered for. Awake to
the hiding place where you
believe yourself unknown,

he is the answer you
once lived, the imaginary
kingdom’s real heartbeat.

Let the trees stir
above you. Draw that
deepest breath, and
keep your secret.
He knows you are here.

Published in the April 14, 2017 issue: 

Michael Cadnum has published nearly forty books, including the National Book Award Finalist novel The Book of the Lion. His most recent book of poetry, Kingdom, includes many poems that first appeared in Commonweal. He is working on a new book of poems, The Promised Rain. He lives in Albany, California.

Also by this author
Poem | Eagle

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Must Reads