The herd moved through today. A half dozen deer, drawn to the tender leaves of shrubs: the wild roses that just survive dry summers; the snowberry and ninebark whose new green growth is no bigger than dimes.

The herd cross our wet metal bridge, their little hooves scrabble without getting purchase on the slick surface. Their brains aren’t getting that you can’t go from zero to six mph off a bald, soaked launchpad.

One young buck has antlers that look like they’re growing while I watch.

They come around to  the back window. Now they’re looking in as they browse the ceonothus, their coats damp with the rain that’s come in big bursts throughout the day. They munch on bay; they tear off mouthfuls of snowberry. Through the glass, they look me in the eye, as if, “What are you doing with all your time?” I look back from my writing desk and want to ask the same thing.

The hard rain they said

would fall falls on wet beasts whose

thin coats soak it up.

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