Aubade, with Two Deer

Thomas Girtin, Deer in Windsor Forest (detail), graphite and watercolor, 1793-94. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Soon I’ll need assurances, a shower, coffee, pills.
In the fuzz of dawn, I’m a bell
and time’s the clapper, rung until
one state of being over-rings another—

so soon, so soon. Now, and now.
But in the kitchen there are only shadows
out a window, shapes and silhouettes:
mist, some trees, two deer.

How each animal can seem a question,
and that means me.
I’m thinking that the dream has left them, too,
the jittery dream, and in a moment,

they will blur again to woods,
which I would like to do.
Hold still, the whole scene says,
before the sun drives in the first nail.

Alan Michael Parker is the author of nine collections of poems, including The Age of Discovery, forthcoming from Tupelo Books, and four novels. He is an English professor at Davidson College and also teaches in the University of Tampa low-residency MFA program.
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