There was a family of deer that looked something like us.
They traveled far with a fierce sense of collective unity.
Held their fearless faces absent of cosmic worry, for the most part.
And yet something crept in, making the easiest part
of being together a struggle. As fate would have it, they would eventually
have to make their way across several highways alone,
not in a pack of unity or disunity, but as singular beings.
The hardest part is some of them would die.
Some knew they might freeze in headlights
but survive. Some may creep across the Montana parks
without knowing who else might be lurking.
Others fell in love among the icicles of snow that dossal in sparkles.
Couples, we agree, are wintery mirages unto themselves.
This family, fragmented in a finitude of private loves,
hid in their respective emotional anxieties,
and separated their loyalties out as rations.
Because of it, they ventured out in their own ways,
finding snowberries in difficult spaces.
Acceding to those shrubs far out of reach.
This might have cost the family their comfort.
But it began the notion that every moon is an ornament
bobbing in front of a ghost light, and from which,
I used it to see, perceptually, that I am no more of that family.
To which, I found a solitary doe in a grove, an eyeful of meadow,
and a handful of buoyant well-wishers to take me
closer to a beckoning kinship, because it had been hidden
too much by the forest, too much by the obsolete family
who had taken my moonlight along with my wilderness.