The spotted fawn
Awoke in small leaf-spotted suns
That dappled all his tawny back,
Tattooing him with coins where he lay
Beside his mother’s warmth the first day
That shpwed him light,
Leaf-filtered, kind and green,
The day that played him tunes
With water-music washing ovr stones
And sharp, sweet, mingled semitones
From every tree,
The day he learned the feel
Of dew on grass,
Cool, cool,
And wet,
Of sun that steals the dew with sudden heat,
And heard the fret
In wind-turned willow leaves and wrinkled pool,
The day that filled his breath with pollened wind,
And smell of bracken, earth, and dell-deep moss,
The day he came to know
Sharp hunger and the flow
Of milk to comfort his small emptiness,
The strangeness of his legs,
The bulwark of his mother’s side,
The solace of her pink tongue’s first caress,
Her snow-soft belly for his sheltering,
The rhythm of his first untaught desires
For movement and for rest,
For food and warmth and nest
Of flattened grass to lay himself deep, deep,
In sleep.

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