How We Live Now
By Miriam O’Neal
A button buck grazes in School House Field.
The school’s been gone one hundred years,
and cedars, once replaced by hay, have begun
to sprout. They may reclaim it.
The wild hops in the woods are yellow
now and the purple asters frosted brown
from early snow. Night spreads its cloak
and the buck fades to black.
We turn for home as rain begins —
carry the deer, the dark, the cloud crowded sky
with us into the kitchen where lamplight shines
in the water dish and the pilot on the oven clicks.
We leave a trail of mottled rotting leaves from boot
and paw, a bit of wildness. This
is how we live now — these are the rules:
Walk awake. Be kind. We are only here so long.
Copyright © 2021 by Miriam O’Neal.