Loren Eiseley

Never Like Deer

From Prairie Schooner

Apples will fall again upon this place,
In the deep smother of the windy grass
Loose the wild scent that none can ever trace
Save the few deer to westward in the pass.
They will come down, come stepping softly down
From the steep hollows where acorns lie;
No single twig will squeak, a shadow down
The last cold star of morning in the sky.
Yet suddenly they will be there. They feed
In the first light before the light of day
And go as quick. Love’s windfall does not need
More time to father nor to go away.
But clumsy in departures men are gone
Never like deer across the edge of dawn.

Reprinted from Prairie Schooner Vol XV No 1 (Winter 1941) by permission of University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1941 by the Wordsmiths of Sigma Upsilon.