Five Deer
by J. R. Solonche

Five deer come to the house down
from the mountain.
The snow is deep.
They root around in the deep snow
where the birds eat the seeds we leave them.
They snuffle around in the deep snow
for the empty shells.
They are that hungry.
They smell the earth and spring is there,
deep beneath the snow,
and summer deeper still.
They sense my presence although I have not
moved at the window, jerk their heads up,
stamp their feet.
One, the biggest, snorts a jet of snow
into the air in front of her.
Immediately they turn and gallop off,
on the same track back up the mountain.
I turn from the window,
wondering which will not be back
in spring, in summer.