Deer Tracks

Last of November 97.
Afternoon. Cherry Gap.
Two and a half feet of new snow.
Drifts to four.
Deer sink to their bellies walking to manzanita berries from their shelter.
A young fir–30 feet high, almost as broad–vigorous green.
Like a tent the branches hang into the snow.
Deer must be in there. I would be.
I don’t want to look…
Cozy, warm in their tent…
I don’t want them to fear me.
On the way back down the mountain
I see deer tracks on top of my snowshoe imprints.
Deer following me…
Using my tracks to stay above the snow.
By Ron Harton