On the side of the road a deer, frozen, frigid.
Go back to your life, the voice said.
What is my life? she wondered. For months she lost
herself in work—Freud said work is as important
as love to the soul—and at night she sat with a boy,
forcing him to practice his violin, helping him recite his notes.
Then the ice thawed and the deer came to life.
She saw her jump over the fence, she saw her in the twilight,
how free she looked. She saw her eyes shiny as marbles,
as much a part of this world as the fence a worker
pounds into the earth. At night she still sat with the boy.
He’s learning “Au Claire de la Lune.”
Do you know it? He has established a relationship
with his violin. He knows that it takes practice to master it:
the accuracy of each note, to wrestle his feelings to the listener.
But he’s impatient. Sometimes what he hears and feels
are not always the same. Again, the poet says.
She knows if he tries to silence his fervor, he might not ever know
who he is. The poet contemplates whether a deer can dream.
Rich blood-red berries on a branch, pachysandra in the garden.
A soft warm bed in the leaves.