Lisa Janice Cohen
We step into the silence of scattered bones.
Birds sound no alarm; their song falls
in light rain around us. We form
a circle of standing stones. The hunter
is gone. Scavengers have cleaned the remains.
There lies a single perfect hoof
and a narrow pelvis, delicate. Pairs
of vertebrae form the shape of dragonflies.
We decide she was a fawn, driven
by wind and hunger to this place
that holds the sent of human spoor. I run
my hand along the roughened bark
where she fed. My children are not afraid
though midsummer light has abandoned
these dense trees. Our footfalls
are as quiet as the memory of deer.
We feed the campfire with brushes
of dried pine, burn smooth wood
the thickness of a femur. Smoke
rises in still air. We return,
and find only spongy ground,
undisturbed. The moss absorbs
the sounds of our searching, muffles
the drip of dew on upturned leaves.
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