the deer themselves, but instead find tamped
outline of their bodies and inhale their faint
aroma. I see that secret bower where they press
together all night and breathe. Moonlight speckles
their hides. By sunrise, like stars, they disappear.
But since they are shamans, their spirits remain:
Bent straw delineates glyphs—epic stories
as they step backwards into my memory.
Also, see other holiday verse in the Dec. 22 Kansas City Star, with illustration by Gentry Mullen: