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.
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.