Winter Study

Mark Wunderlich

Two days of snow, then ice
and the deer peer from the ragged curtain of trees.
Hunger wills them, hunger
pulls them to the compass of light
spilling from the farmyard pole.
They dip their heads, hold
forked hooves
above snow, turn furred ears
to scoop from the wind
the sounds of hounds, or men.
They lap at a sprinkling of grain,
pull timid mouthfuls from a stray bale.
The smallest is lame, with a leg
healed at angles, and a fused knob
where a joint once bent.
It picks, stiff, skidding its sickening limb
across the ice's dark platter.
Their fear is thick as they break a trail
to the center of their predator's range.
To know the winter
is to ginger forth from a bed in the pines,
to search for a scant meal
gleaned from the carelessness
of a killer.
Copyright © 2012 by Mark Wunderlich. Used with permission of the author.

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Further Reading

Poems about Deer
Deer Dancer
by Joy Harjo
Deer Hit
by Jon Loomis
Deer, 6:00 AM
by Sarah Getty
Earthy Anecdote
by Wallace Stevens
How to See Deer
by Philip Booth
The City of God
by David Baker
The Supple Deer
by Jane Hirshfield
Poems About Winter
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [Blow, blow, thou winter wind]
by William Shakespeare
Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene 2 [Winter]
by William Shakespeare
Snow-Bound [The sun that brief December day]
by John Greenleaf Whittier
A January Dandelion
by George Marion McClellan
A Winter Without Snow
by J. D. McClatchy
An Old Man's Winter Night
by Robert Frost
Approach of Winter
by William Carlos Williams
Fishing in Winter
by Ralph Burns
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
by Maureen N. McLane
How like a winter hath my absence been (Sonnet 97)
by William Shakespeare
In drear nighted December
by John Keats
by Helen Hunt Jackson
Now Winter Nights Enlarge
by Thomas Campion
On Snow
by James Parton
Picture-books in Winter
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Places [III. Winter Sun]
by Sara Teasdale
Return to Winter
by Elaine Terranova
by Emily Brontė
spring love noise and all [excerpt]
by David Antin
The Darkling Thrush
by Thomas Hardy
The Magpie's Shadow
by Yvor Winters
The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens
The Snow Storm
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Visionary
by Emily Brontė
There's a certain Slant of light (258)
by Emily Dickinson
To a Locomotive in Winter
by Walt Whitman
Toward the Winter Solstice
by Timothy Steele
by Adelaide Crapsey
Untitled [Toward night]
by Kevin Goodan
Why Is the Color of Snow?
by Brenda Shaughnessy
by Walter De La Mare
Winter Heavens
by George Meredith
Winter is good - his Hoar Delights (1316)
by Emily Dickinson
Winter Morning
by William Jay Smith
Winter Sleep
by Edith Matilda Thomas
Winter Trees
by William Carlos Williams
Winter Twilight
by Anne Porter
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Winter: My Secret.
by Christina Rossetti