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Thursday, December 29, 2016

WINTER SOLSTICE

                                   



                      
                                                    













                                   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            
                                     one.

                                     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.
                                   


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Publications

  • "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