in the rain,
water dripping off the branches overhead,
the forest all around me embracing me,
I felt your presence as never before,
sensed your gaze upon me as
I walked past oaks and pines and maples,
listened to the whisper of the rain,
and then, ahead of me,
well off the path I had abandoned
a mile or more ago,
your emissaries stepped out of the shadows.
a stag, three does, two fawns,
and I came to a stop,
watched as they cropped grass and herbs as they walked.
They showed no fear of me,
just as they would show no fear
of hawk or squirrel or raccoon or rabbit,
coming forward until they were no more
than a foot or two away.
I could have reached out
and touched those children,
but was content
to stand there under the boughs of an elm,
water streaming from my hair,
and watch them continue on,
until they were out of sight,
fellow travelers from your land,
neither far-off or foreign.
visiting that place that we both loved so well.