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This poem is taken from PN Review 26, Volume 8 Number 6, July - August 1982.

Two Poems Hugh Ouston

PORTRAIT OF A ROE DEER

Wet grass regains its form where we have trodden;
Rushes rise pale straw against the moss;
The deer returns unopened every sodden
Letter that before his feet I toss.
The afternoon stands round in damp grey-hodden.

Delicate among the broken telephone
Poles of a former storm, he picks, he moves.
In the downfalling day the deer alone
Contains the will to rise within his hooves.
My will, being mortal, is no more my own.

Perceiving all my motion precisely,
He understands my heart the endless giver;
Yet one ear turned to something restlessly
Away down in the still woods by the river
Keeps inviolable his integrity.
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