He trod towards me
With audacious comfort in his eyes
I wonder if he’d comprehend
Why to fear human kind

For I was in his native land
An intact forest of hardwood trees
Where most are still discreet enough to flee or fly
But still, he trod towards me

He was a puerile, gangly buck, you could see
It wasn’t long since leaving his doe mother’s side

Perhaps it was that he did not know
Why to fear human kind

It was preposterous! He came within a tactable distance
I feared what next I’d see
Did he expect me to kiss his antlered crown?
But I looked at him, and him at me, as he trod towards me

He raised his chin, like an amicable cow, as though to say “scratch me”
Looking at me with the confidence of youth, he bulged his eyes
And I slowly backed away, knowing why to fear human kind

For I am not St. Francis, no reason to believe I would be
Perhaps he thought his discretion left me believing a certain lie
That even when on edge by strange aparencies, it was him I needed to see That most wouldn’t is the real reason, why to fear human kind

— Timothy Lacy

Timothy Lacy grew up both in Cornwall and in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. At eighteen, he spent three months in the state parks of Vermont’s Green Mountains. This poem, “A Buck with the Confidence of Youth,” was inspired by an encounter he had with a young deer in the Steep Rock Preserve in nearby Washington, Connecticut.

📷: Lazlo Gyorsok