Fleece by Gary LeBel


Toward evening the asphalt glitters with mica. Out of a flurry of rustling leaves, they step shoulder-to-shoulder out of the forest and onto the tar, five in all.

Twitching tails and intensely curious, they lengthen timid necks, wiggle their ears and widen their nostrils for a fresh appraisal, their huge brown eyes never leaving us, Beauty having draped them with her finest bolt of russet fleece.

Sensing that our intentions are amiable, the young deer move shyly past us and continue on across the road and to wherever twilight is leading them.

With footsteps nearly soundless,
they vanish as they first appeared, as one thought fades into another or into dream,
or memory or sleep

through the flowering goldenrod
every breath

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