A buck crashes through the underbrush.
He’s a four-point buck — older, I’d guess
than most of the deer around here.
We’re both startled by this unexpected
intersection of our lives: me on the trail,
him wild-eyed from crashing through
the underbrush, a thin branch caught
in his antlers. I stop suddenly, wary
of collision: I’m no match for his antlers,
teeth, and hooves. The buck pauses
at the edge of the narrow clearing
that is this trail. We stand watching
each other. He determines finally
that I am no threat, twists his neck sharply
to dislodge the branch, crosses the trail
a few feet away from me, disappears
downslope toward the creek.
The buck is no threat to me. I resume
my walk, think about the buck, his antlers
and wild eyes, his strength and how he
dislodged a minor irritant. This is why I live
here, why I walk the Padden Creek trail,
seek all that is still undomesticated
and unpredictable, fearless and wild.
Andrew Shattuck McBride
NaPoWriMo 2014 ~ Day 9