Lynne Knight

Letter after the Diagnosis

This is the window I love best. It looks down
on roses, ferns, ivy the deer come to eat
once the rains have gone. Earlier I watched
a deer take a Peace rose in one nip. He held it

in his mouth, head dipping and lifting, the flutter
of petals like foam at his wide lips. Just when
I thought the sweet smell had made him drunk,
he swallowed. Then he nipped another. The same

intoxicated dance, head and forelegs lifting,
falling, in slow syncopation. After the fifth rose,
the bush top stripped, I opened the window
to yell Hey! Enough! The deer looked up,

then strolled off through high grass. I tell you this
because I need some deer insouciance
to offer you against your fear. I did not
think of you at all while I watched the deer

eat the roses. But now I know if you had been
beside me, you would have put out your hand
to stop me from raising the window, you would have
done all you could to grant him abundance.