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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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