Just at dawn, a doe with two fawns

crosses beside the lake between tall pines

and rambling, unmanicured azaleas,

the creatures’ graceful forms silvered

by the horizon’s first glowing as they

footprint the white sand spongy with wet.


Their moist noses rise to the air,

scented with sweet camellia,

and at a premonition perceptible only

to themselves, the deer dart across

a tire-hardened dirt track and into

the evergreen woods. As the animals

veer westward, the pines shrink, thin,

and brown, until the trio emerges

onto an open field, the view of their

arrival framed by the redbuds

etched onto its periphery.


Their dancing hooves stir dust

lofted by a crosswind before it

resettles to the ground as they look

for a place to shelter themselves

from the threatening exposure

of high noon’s harsh, hot light.


Copyright 2017

T. Allen Culpepper