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The Missing Deer

A solitary deer’s hooves trample the earth

and bends the grass in a field.

A declaration to the world

that it exists,

that it is present,

and that it belongs.


That declaration is not made from pride,

nor ego, or fear,

but rather from certainty,

as this is the way it has always been.


As it has always been,

the deer moves on.

Its print upon the world

fades with the wind and the rain,

and the slow passage of time.


The grass grows anew

under the light of the sun

and the earth springs back.

The deer has moved on

and the world accepts its passing,

for its declaration of belonging is fleeting

but no less important for its brevity.


The field gives way

to a jungle

where metal replaces wood

and glass blocks the wind.

Great trees,

not grown, but made,

stretch towards the sky

on trunks of stone.

Their shadows run long and deep

as they block out the sun.


There is a stillness within this jungle.

An echo of what once was

a bustling ecosystem.

Noises of joy, anger, and communionare

no longer heard.


This is what they have left behind.


An echo is just a ghost

of what was once present.

A reminder of more,

imprinted with less than its original.

There is no warmth in absence

and no comfort in an echo,

there is only a certain stillness.


I leave the ghosts behind me

and turn my back to the echoes.

Perhaps it’s time to leave my own mark

in the grass

like that deer that’s disappeared.

Untitled works from The Missing Deer, Photobook, 2022.

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