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By Kenneth Rehill

Like an apparition, the rheumy-eyed,
cumbersome deer mass took shape
beyond the disintegrating foliage curtain.

He slouched in the shadows, blurred
by branches and the few leaves, drained
of blue, that hadn't lost their grip

in the first frosts. A micro movement
delineated his antlers, huge serrated
pottery shards fraternizing with tree limbs

a grave's height above brown comforter
covered ground. Jaded, splay-legged,
jaw full of chew, he seemed in possession

of less vim than a plough horse, retired
over-used. From droop, his oversized ears
flipped abruptly upright, turning to catch

the breeze and magnify a clatter, faint
and distant. His massive head pivoted,
realigning itself with his hearing apparatus.

His nostrils flared to teacup size as he
inhaled deeply, chest expanding. On the
flutter-lipped exhalation, his head stretched

forward and he raised one hoof, assuming,
for a moment, the stance of a bird dog pointing.
Then he raked the ground with that huge hoof,

grunting and snorting with indignation.
He marched off at quick-step, head held
high. The crackling of branches as he plowed

his way through the woods and the steady
thump of his hooves was heard long after
he could be seen no more.

Then there was splashing
followed by crackling and thumps.
that faded into a memory.

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Document last modified on: 09/25/2005

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