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    Sun rays streaming through spring-green trees

    At the Franciscan Retreat, Colorado

    Daniel Klawitter

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    • BARBARA A RICHARDS

      Such a pure and simple poem of great beauty.

    As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. – Psalm 42:1

    A congregation of devout deer
    appeared over the hill
    and came down to graze
    on a Eucharist of leaves:

    The new, green goodness
    of God’s good spring.

    Initially, there was no rapture
    just a rupture in my reverie.

    I had no idea what might occur:
    smoking my cigarette outside
    like a thurifer.

    It didn’t seem to bother them though:
    the smoke. They must have known
    I wasn’t a wildfire.
    Just another man sacrificing himself
    in the wilderness.

    And then, with magnificent tenderness,
    one of the deer got so near to me…
    20 feet or less. We were now
    in the same sanctuary of grass.

    For some reason I looked away and
    stretched out my left hand
    thinking: “This too shall pass.”
    But it did not.

    The deer approached without fear
    his black nose nuzzled
    my palm, the nostrils flaring.

    And that was it.
    Who blessed who I don’t know.
    But he left as gentle
    as a penitent.

    a white tailed deer in green bushes
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