The Deer

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

You came to the edge of the woods today
to catch my eye.
My dog did not see you, though,
young girl-deer.

You came to tell me “thank you,”
or so it seemed that way,
for digging you out of the mud yesterday.

Flailing, you were caught up to your neck.
My dog and I saw you
throwing your head from side to side, exhausted—
on our walk in the rain-soaked morning.

Two came to dig you out,
and, after resting, you got up
and ran away.

So today you came back with gratitude,
or your face looked that way—
like my long lost daughter.
You came to make me understand
that you were full of thankfulness,
to catch my eye,
or so it seemed that way.

Copyright © 2010, I Sleep Between the Moons of New Mexico


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

24 responses to “The Deer

  1. Beautiful Ethel, thank you for blessing my day … or so it seems that way … Love David

  2. This is so beautifully written, I really envy your talent.

    And I feel sure the deer was looking at you with gratitude.


  3. Really beautiful narration in verse sharing your joy over the little rescued deer-girl coming to say “thank you”. Perhaps this is what put you in mind of your long lost daughter? Lovely.

  4. Caddo Veil

    Lovely, SO lovely!

  5. dfb

    Beautiful… and touching.

  6. Thanks for this – beautifully written.

  7. Beautiful…sadness in there somewhere? x

  8. Oona Hays

    This is another beautiful poem. I have seen deer’s kind and soft eyes before. This poem made me fill with emotion.

  9. This calls us back to the days before the “civilised” insanity.

  10. Ethel, this was so beautiful it gave me goose-bumps. I’m sure the deer came to thank you! And the way things “seem” is often our intuition whispering to us gently of the truth.

  11. Oh, i am absolutely sure the deer came back with gratitude.
    It not only seemed that, it was that way.

    I will go into my day in a better place for having read this.


  12. I like the way the deer takes on a personality and seems almost human. I’m sure it was thanking you!

  13. Yes, so beautiful and true. Blessings, Ellen

  14. I too am sure that is what that deer wanted to show you…gratitude for your good deed. Very special encounters…both days…I would consider that a blessing.

  15. Julie Catherine

    Animals just have that knowing, and a gratitude of life that we as humans often do not. You and this deer shared a blessing. This was just beautiful, Ethel. ~ Julie

  16. I think animals do have this kind of consciousness

  17. Some things are as they may seem; nice poem of rescue…

  18. This is splendid and moving…because there is such a innocence in it…’young girl-deer’–almost as a child (your daughter?) would describe. And such a sense of camaraderie, of oneness with the deer. No wonder she came back to thank you.

    I saved a Cardinal once…found it frozen on the ground after a sudden ice deluge…put him in a cat carrier and kept him on the back porch overnight. Thankfully he revived and I let him go the next morning. The next day one was tapping at my window…I liked to think he had come back to thank me…never sure of course…but I like to think so. Perhaps he was just a messenger one way or the other…

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