First Encounter

		A hart and doe of distant clans,
		Meeting surprised in dappled glade,
		Stare in quivering immobility,
		Transfixed by morning's bright slanting blade.

		Twig legs stiff and braced for flight,
		Ears pricked up, necks stretched out,
		Nostrils twitching at the foreign scent,
		Tails raised: small white flags of doubt.

		The moment lasts a timeless time,
		But then the musk, although still new,
		Bespeaks a kindred forest spirit,
		And fear gives way to a different cue.

		The hart at last takes a tentative step,
		Dares a touch, taut as wire.
		And the doe, in mute acceptance,
		Waits wide-eyed, alight with desire.

							copyright 1983 by Brian K. Crawford