Neath shimmered strings of starlight’s breeze, crepuscular in night
on trodden soil he lay with slumbered eyes.
Lashed to oak, his chestnut mare in dream just out of sight
snaps free as lightning flashes; flares the skies.
Bounds to foot with double stride; yet late his capture earns
a feeble grip on equine hoof afoot,
his trusty steed, as mist might drift through juvenile sown ferns,
has vanished like dark ebbing motes of soot.
Miles from home, no transit back, bewildered by events
considers how to forge his journey home,
perplexing state, a quandary, unravels and presents
the only choice he has, which is to roam.
Through thicket thick, forest green, cross arid plains of dust
unto the homestead poised for his return,
discordant thunder stills his heart; wriggles in as thrust
compels him, for he knows they too do yearn.
For passage spry and safe, and quiescent nights on swag
now rolls his bed with reins onto his back;
through sheathes of rain, in startled fright, a lonely Sambar stag
hoof striking ground, preparing to attack.
Muzzles drawn, the beast is felled yet antlers gore both arms
as motion peters awkwardly apace,
bandages his wounded wings as parent-like alarms
resound upon the visage of a face.
Hidden by the brush, the physiognomy not seen
now trundles to its father’s fallen side,
its death is beyond doubt, lest his hand does intervene
to raise the fawn the way the buck had tried.
A careful snouted nudge from the fawn as sunup blooms
arises him from sleep, but only just,
passes over arid plains then through the vista looms
the iron gates of home bedimmed by dust.
Collapses through the gates on the soiree of her birth
returning home disheveled and delayed,
bent on being present so she’d never know a dearth
of every night, his whispered serenade.
Strength, in time, would vivify, recouping over weeks
the erred reason for his sullied trip,
remains on blocks, left un-repaired, despoiled by the leaks
and placed the fawn forever by her hip.
Eyes well up recalling, every year from that day on
his little girl’s elated monkeyshines,
when the gown was given her, how happiness had shone
into his heart his journey’s worth entwines.