Thursday, March 12, 2020

Written Deer by Maggie Smith

Written Deer

           Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
                            —Wisława Szymborska 

My handwriting is all over these woods. 
No, my handwriting is these woods,  

each tree a half-print, half-cursive scrawl, 
each loop a limb. My house is somewhere 
here, & I have scribbled myself inside it.  

What is home but a book we write, then 
read again & again, each time dog-earing  

different pages. In the morning I wake 
in time to pencil the sun high. How 
fragile it is, the world—I almost wrote  

the word but caught myself. Either one 
could be erased. In these written woods,  

branches smudge around me whenever 
I take a deep breath. Still, written fawns 
lie in the written sunlight that dapples  

their backs. What is home but a passage
I’m writing & underlining every time I read it.

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