“The deer had come for me”

Roe-Deer by Ted Hughes

In the dawn’s early light, in the biggest snow of the year

Two blue-dark deer stood in the road, alerted.

They had happened into my dimension

The moment I was arriving just there.

They planted their two or three years of secret deer-hood

Clear on my snow-screen vision of the abnormal

And hesitated in the all-way disintegration

And stared at me. And so for some lasting seconds

I could think the deer were waiting for me

To remember the password and sign

That the curtain had blown aside for a moment

And there where the trees were no longer trees, nor the road a road

The deer had come for me.

Then they ducked through the hedge, and upright they rode their legs

Away downhill over snow-lonely field

Towards tree dark – finally

Seeming to eddy and glide and fly away up

Into the boil of big flakes.

The snow took them and soon their nearby hoofprints as well.

Revising its dawn inspiration

Back to the ordinary.

The Deer have come for me!

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