Mary Oliver

the wide field

the dark deer
went running,

five dogs

at his flanks,
at his heels,

my own two darlings
among them

lunging and buckling
with desire

as they leaped
for the throat

as they tried
and tried again

to bring him down.
At the lake

the deer

I could hear
the green wind

of his breath

but the long legs
never stopped

till he clambered
up the far shore.
The dogs
moaned and screeched

they flung themselves
on the grass

and steaming.

It took hours
but finally

in the half-drowned light
in the silence

of the summer evening
they woke

from fitful naps,
they stepped

in their old good natures
toward us

look look
into their eyes

bright as planets
under the long lashes

here is such happiness when you speak their names!
here is such unforced love!

here is such shyness such courage!
here is the shining rudimentary soul

here is hope retching, the world as it is
here is the black the red the bottomless pool.