At the edge of the wood
they forage on sedges and acorns
wade through hip-high ferns,
then pause to drink me in,
tails dangling, long ears relaxed.
Their auburn fur gleams in dappled light.
We sense in each other some recognition
as after a long separation, some relation
palpable in the growing silence.
Like two fairy women who’ve taken on
the shape of deer, they come forward
to greet me. Young, wise, carrying
with them the lore of the hidden.

Do not fear your own power, they seem to say
as they move on, blend into the forest.

I take solace in their fearlessness.
I take solace in recognition.
In relation I take solace,
I take solace.

Christine Anne Pratt has been published in The Common Ground Review, Stickman Review and Compass Roads, an anthology of poems about the Pioneer Valley. Presently, she’s very involved in the “Me Too” movement and understanding her own difficult history. She lives in western Massachusetts.