Deer at the Garden

Even asleep, I hear them stirring in the woods,
Restless like me, and hungry,
Their large ears alert to danger sounds, human
Or merely wind, though since there never is enough
To eat, they’ll trample down my garden
And devour what’s mine. True, they’re just deer,

But when I watch their eyes I don’t see deer
As creatures with no rights, enough
Of them already in the woods,
I see what they would feel if human
Understanding told them I was hungry,
That the purpose of a garden

Advertisement

Is to fence those out who failed to make a garden,
Though their children, just like deer,
Through no fault of their own, also are hungry.
But I’m not to blame, and I reject that human
Sentiment, because there’s not enough
Where many people live, the same as in the woods,

As fear too is the same within the woods
Or out, and since I can’t help everyone, it’s human
That I first take care my children not go hungry
And can sleep at ease within my garden,
Though they seem wary just like deer
When I gaze in their eyes. It’s good enough

If I can keep them safe. It’s good enough
If I can keep my garden
Flourishing while more and more gaunt deer
Keep coming from the woods,
And though their limpid eyes look human,
Don’t blame me because they’re hungry.

Don’t blame me that children too go hungry
Since there’s only so much room within a garden
Whether filled with people or with deer;
Some must make do within the woods
Where there can never be enough,
Though knowing that can cause more human

Misery. Hungry at heart there be enough
In all those teeming gardens and lush woods
Are we most human when we see ourselves as deer?

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

 10.17.2018 Pope Francis greets Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
“We take people where they are, walking with them, moving forward,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2018
Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018