The Deer in December

 

by Tammy Robacker

 

for my Father

 

 

Since your death, 

my hard heart softens 

 

in small measures. 

Like the deer stepping

 

down into my yard, 

he minces his feet

 

along my frosted garden 

so tentative, 

 

so carefully now. 

As if you are sorry.

 

Dear brown-eyed, 

remorseful creature 

 

still coming around 

for a daughter’s vestiges. 

 

My forgiveness 

parcels itself out 

 

in pinchfuls of seeds. 

I let you feed

 

on my pale winter 

kale and weeds.