Late Winter Parallax
BY REBECCA KAISER GIBSON
There are different ministries, but the same
breath, feeding on holy sticks.
One stares point-blank, blank-
eyed at me in the window.
We are so close,
I pretend to be invisible.
while the others doze, faces tucked
to warmish flanks. The broad-cheeked
one guards. But in the hour it lowers,
a faint smile in sleep. Is it gratitude? No,
the deer are not an annoyance. They are like
the snowy boughs in sun. Ardent like my own
delight. I admit that in the wide sprawl
of a secret, I have stopped in the midday
raiment, and seen the manna sparkle like lichen.
So many limbs, the sturdy hemlock
and this silent mimicry. They sleep
just out of reach. I reach
breathless at their breathing – such gestures,
the stretched neck, the seeking after.