Thursday, December 29, 2016
My wife looked out upon a single fawn
that gnawed, unaware, at the hedge beside
the rock garden on this first day of winter.
“There’s something wrong with one of its legs,”
she told me with a frown. As it grazed its way
to the yew bushes along the front walk, I could
see that she was right.
The deer was young, a few months old at best,
from its size, left hind leg hobbled a bit by
what seemed a tumor that shackled her
to her fate.
The fawn foraged in solitude amid a carpet of
snow, cast out perhaps from the herd to fend
alone all predators, to ward off the dark, to
die at last a solitary death and take with it
the blight it bore.
Was this the lone deer we saw below our
bedroom window two nights past, feasting
on the birdseed I had scattered beneath
the feeder? We’d thought it odd to see but
She’d stood, legs splayed, nearly genuflecting
as she fed, the nap of her young fur smooth
and gleaming in the moonglow. We hadn’t
noticed in that swath of silver light the knob
that hobbled her, her outcast plight.
As the shadows lengthen on this longest night,
I’ll seed again the snow beneath the barren ash,
will scatter far and wide the feed to brook
the coming darkness, the feeble light.
- "Betting the Farm," PUTNAM Magazine, The Journal News, Summer 2008 (See link below.)
- "So How Does My Garden Grow?" in Why Am I Doing This? Purposeful Teaching Through Portfolio Assessment, ed. Giselle O. Martin-Kniep, Heinemann, 1998
- "What Maisie Knew," LEITRIM GUARDIAN Magazine, County Leitrim, Ireland, 1993 Annual
- "Climbing Cuilcagh Mountain," LEITRIM GUARDIAN Magazine, County Leitrim, Ireland, 1990 Annual
- "Administrative Jargon as a Barrier to Effective Communication," NASSP Bulletin, Journal of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, May 1984 (See link below.)
- "Local Folk Legends: Learning From an Irish Model," The English Record, Journal of the New York State English Council, Third Quarter, 1984
- "The Other Ireland," CARA Magazine (Dublin), Nov.-Dec. 1982
- "Through a Glass Darkly," The Distorted Image of the Irish in America," SUNDAY Magazine (Gannett Suburban Newspapers), White Plains, NY, March 18, 1979