Her ear is tuned
to the heartbeat of the earth
she walks in time with the wind
she is cleansed by raindrops and dew
and the fire of her own sweet breath
as she nestles with her fawn in secret places.
She knows the dark privacy of the forest
the cool side of the mountain
the warm sun of the field
she knows the taste of grapes on her tongue
the feel of wind on her back
and the joy of leaping, unbound.
She may appear timid and wary
yet she will not be boxed in
she will not be caged
she will not be fenced
she will dance wild and free
and on grass
in field and valley
and calling your name.
Come run with me
leap the fences
leaving behind that which is narrow and confining
and sip the sweet raindrops by my side.
I don’t really relish having to wear hunter’s orange when I head down to the woods lately. The sound of nearby gunshots encroaches on my sacred ground and makes me feel a sense of risk. Tonight while standing on the rocks feeling uncertain rather than peaceful, I remembered that I wrote a poem called Deer Woman a couple of months ago and never published it. It felt obvious that the time has now come!
I originally composed this poem when startling some deer away from the rocks by accident several months ago. They’re often there in the morning, making me think of the other woodspriestesses who visit the same spot that I call “mine,” but which is home to many and belongs only to itself.
“In a way Winter is the real Spring – the time when the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.”
– Edna O’Brien
Other poems in the Woman series are linked to here.