Deer Print

Benjamin F. Williams

A soft indentation—
two toes—
marks the ground,
a blank reminder
of what has been here before me.
I try to feel amazed,
to marvel at this muddy imprint,
to feel lucky at my chance notice—
but I want to see the deer,
steam streaming from her nostrils
as she stares at me,
thin legs threatening
to give way,
small brown head
trembling in the cold.
I want to see her bound away,
her tail high in the air,
her two-toed hooves
marking the ground.