The Christmas Deer, poetry by Susie Rankin at

The Christmas Deer

The Christmas Deer

written by: Susie Rankin


She curled into herself —
an injured body
wrapped around its soul,
frozen in the middle of an empty road.
One half broken and bloody —
the other, beautiful and whole.
One eye soaked in crimson —
the other, a moonlit marble.
Each a globe of fear and wonder.

With an ungloved hand,
I stroked her autumn-colored bristles,
combing a path between her two grand ears,
following, like calligraphy, the S of her spine,
my knees holding the half of her that was whole,
her body warming the part of me that was cold.

How long would we sit like this,
could we sit like this —
cars rushing by,
nearly taking us both out?

And yet we were unmoving, waiting as the last
frozen tears of the first winter storm fell,
bits of Christmas snow descending softly
grief melting into beauty
sorrow melting into peace.
A life — or two or three
or infinite—
moving beyond pain
into grace.

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