Like Young Men
It’s hard not to love
the way they stand, easy and affirmed
like young men alone together
not knowing they’re watched.
A sweetness in their power, a hesitancy.
One stag lowers his head to my garden.
The other, calmly alert, looks to this cabin.
They take turns protecting each other
in a beautiful simplicity of eating and guarding.
Their clay-colored bodies are a massive surprise
after the delicate doe I’ve chased from here.
Their racks are young, but sharpening. It’s hard
not to stare, not to freeze. The guardian
arouses the other to a scent of harm
that could be me—
his antlers toss and almost instantly
both deer bound up the hill,
take my fence with effortless ease,
lithe and cocky as teenagers, armed.
By Elizabeth Seydel Morgan
Recipient of the 2005 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize
Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press
from On Long Mountain: Poems by Elizabeth Seydel Morgan.
Copyright © 1998 by Elizabeth Seydel Morgan.