The Deer Mailbox

A buck flashes through the brush
stops, ears raised, and
point blank stares at me

I brake and stop dead
only a few feet away,
engine off,
silence
—a cord

I call out his deer name
through the open window
addressing that verdant desire
to speak in animal tongue
and meld into lush overgrowth

He listens intently
his ears flicker
eyes darken
nostrils flare

He resumes nibble
of scrub oak shoots
for what must be
my benefit, to put me at ease
as if to say, “I forgive you
your trespasses.”

I start the car and he nimbly
shows off his back side
blends into brush
without a backward glance at the place
where near-accident and nature join.

Monika Rose

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