Wednesday, January 26, 2011

As a Young Fawn, I

This is another poem that was written about something other than what it appears. When I was in college I always used to carry my sketchbook around with me. One one occasion I was sitting on top of a hill overlooking a valley to the west at sunset. Dusk descended, but it was still light and I was being still. Just then a young fawn walked from the trees, crossing the short space to where I was sitting. When he saw me, he hesitated and then approached still further, very tentative but curious.

Two rifle shots down in the valley below make me think it must have been during the Ohio hunting season. We looked at each for the longest time, but he didn't run. Eventually he continued on his way.

Two years later, the incident became the basis for this poem, as told from the point of view of the fawn, making it a metaphor for another order of encounter.

As a Young Fawn, I

As a young fawn I, with awkward step
found an opening in the wood;
unfolding eyes beheld and touched
what I could little understand -
that though I'd freely come to see,
'twas his hand that was drawing me.

I wished not that our eyes would meet,
my heart, berserk with wildness, quaked,
but when his eye fell fast upon me
I, too, even dared to gaze
shamelessly,
that eternal moment touching.

Though first my heart had bid me flee
I had to know just why he'd come
to this place, my forest home.
(And it's funny how he heard my fears
from distant hills re-echo.)

Magnetic sunset pink and gold
was all I meant that hour to view,
yet clearly it seemed meant for us
together on that hill to share
a dramatic fairy tale
that wasn't bound by miles of string.

New Jersey, 1975

1 comment:

tracerapotts said...

ed newman, that is a truly beautiful poem.